Leaving the Randburg Magistrates’ Court after being acquitted, Benedict would not comment and was in a jovial mood as she hugged her legal team.
The actress was accused of stealing a packet of Panado tablets worth R17.90 at Checkers in Cresta Mall. The case has been postponed several times now, and finally got underway in March 2015 where she pleaded not guilty.
Previously, Benedict said the State had offered her diversion, an offer that she has declined.
“That means in principal that you admit to the allegations against you, look appropriately remorseful and the whole thing goes away. This would be the easiest and most cost effective manner in which to get this matter to finality. So basically it’s a lie that gets me out of this. I’m not sleeping as it is, I don’t see lying to an officer of the law remedying that,” said Benedict.
Benedict, who was originally detained at Linden police station after the alleged shoplifting incident, released last year giving her side of the story.
“I am innocent of this alleged crime and there was no basis for the arrest. Every item in my possession was paid for including the tablets I’d purchased weeks earlier that were still unopened.”
The talented actress who played the role of Akhona on the popular soapie said she found it interesting that another customer’s packages set off the security system and she was allowed to go without a search. Benedict was allegedly stopped when the security system went off as she passed through.
“I could not provide a receipt because I’m blessed to have R17.49c not be an expenditure I need to keep track of,” she said in the statement.
“I guess it is far easier to ‘Make An Example Of That Actress’ than it is to admit that perhaps, just perhaps, Checkers’ Anti‐Theft machines and cameras might need a service.”