A father found himself broke after his daughter blew R74 000 of his Road Accident Fund savings on alcohol.
The East London Regional Court found that the money was spent between December last year and February this year when Malusi Ngqandende’s 23-year-old daughter Sive Ngqandende stole his phone and used it to transfer money to various Capitec accounts held by her friends.
She would then collect the money and use it for partying.
The state charged Sive, who was in cahoots with her 28-year-old twin aunts Sinazo and Sandiswa Ngqandende, with theft and money laundering.
The three received a suspended sentence of five years’ imprisonment last week for the crimes.
Malusi Ngqandende, 47, of NU3, Mdantsane, has described the sentence as a “slap on the wrist”.
He kept money in different Capitec accounts, which he could access through his phone.
His daughter told the court she was aware of her father’s bank account secret four-digit pin number on his phone.
She said she would pay a small amount to anyone who was happy to use their account for her to transfer her father’s money into.
She said she used the money for “enjoyment”.
Her lawyer, Mkhuseli Nosilela, told the court that Sive and her aunts had profusely apologised for the theft.
Ngqandende, however, told magistrate Twanet Olivier that he “would never forgive them” as they had carefully planned and executed the theft under his nose.
He said seeing that now they had failed to reimburse him, the court should impose a sentence of direct imprisonment.
“I feel sorry for them, but I want them to go to jail,” he said.
Nosilela asked him: “Are you really interested in your family going to jail?”
“I want them to go to jail,” Ngqandende responded.
Olivier, however, disagreed, ruling that the three women were primary caregivers with children under the age of seven.
In imposing sentence, the court also took into consideration that the three women were first-time offenders. Olivier said should they be convicted of a similar offence within the next five years, they would spend five years in jail or pay a fine of R100000.
Speaking to the Dispatch yesterday, a fuming Ngqandende said: “I have three other children who I have to look after … The criminal justice system has failed me and protected those who wronged me.” — firstname.lastname@example.org