A man described as “mentally challenged” was jailed for ten months in eSwatini (Swaziland) for stealing alcohol from a bottle store after it had closed for the night.
Ntokozo “Early Bird” Ndzimandze, 34, appeared before National Court President Chief Ndlondlo Tsabedze in Siteki on Monday charged with theft. The Swazi Observer reported that when the charge sheet was read to him, he pleaded guilty with a nod and big smile on his face.
Ndzimandze was found drowning himself in booze after he had broken into the bottle store. He claimed, however, that he had been accidentally locked in by a bar worker.
Laughter erupted in the courtroom when he compared his situation to a mouse being accidentally left inside a storeroom full of maize.
“How would you expect a mouse to behave if you mistakenly left it inside a maize storeroom?” he asked.
He was sentenced to 10 months in jail with the option to pay a fine of R1 000. However, the judgement has been criticised due to the man’s mental disability and the fact he is known to roam around town scavenging for food.