Sentenced for stealing aircons

In South Africa, sentencing is considered the primary prerogative of trial courts and they enjoy
wide discretion to determine the type and severity of a sentence on a case-by-case basis. In doing so, they follow judge-made, broad sentencing principles, which require that when making sentencing determinations, judges consider three things: the gravity of the offense,
the circumstances of the offender, and public interest. Vusi Ndlovu (27) appeared at Brits Magistrates Court on the 24th August 2017 for stealing aircons and pipes worth R3500 at Jan Big’s tavern on the 02nd of August 2017. Vusi entered the premises of Jan Big tarven without permission and noticed the aircon not attached to the wall. He used a trolly to carry the aircon and its pipes to a nearby scrapyard and sold them for a R150. He was reported to the police by the staff at the tavern the following day as he tried again to steal another aircon. Now Vusi will be spending 6 months in prison for his unlawfull acts. The sentencing is based on facts that theft cases in Madibeng continue to be on high percentages and thieves don’t want to
change their ways of criminal life of stealing and robbing in the community. Over 50 per cent of all crimes experienced by households in South Africa in 2015/16 were housebreakings. Home burglaries (11,9 per cent) was the second most common type of crime experienced by South African households. Whites had the highest rates of victimization compared to other groups both in 2011 and 2015/16. However, whites experienced the sharpest decline of household related crimes during the five years, from 17 per cent to 12 per cent of households.Housebreaking and home robbery peaked during the months of March and June in both 2014/15 and 2015/16. The months during which these crimes were
least likely to occur were January, May and November. As found in previous Victims of Crime Surveys, nighttime is still the most preferred time for crime incidents. Stealing can occur in a variety of different ways. It may involve violence (commonly known as ‘robbery’)
or it may be non-violent (commonly known as ‘larceny’). It may also involve stealing the identity of another person rather than stealing tangible physical property. To deal with these various situations, South Australia has a number of stealing offences which are distinguished from one another based on what property was stolen, and the way in which it was stole. The maximum penalty for theft is 10 years imprisonment. However, the maximum penalty is extended to 15 years imprisonment if you commit this offence in aggravating circumstances (e.g. you steal from a child under 12 years old or a person over 60 years old).