The so-called “broomstick case” has ended with a five-year prison sentence for the man who stole a policeman’s motorcycle.
Nazier Ohlson, 26, was jailed by the Bellville Regional Court this week when he appeared before magistrate Constance Nziweni.
His aunt raised eyebrows in court when called to the witness stand by the defence in an attempt to get him off the hook. She referred to him as “slang” (snake) and lamented instead that he owed her money.
She said the bike was parked in the street outside Ohlson’s home when she confronted him, at about 4am, about the R300 he owed her.
A violent argument ensued in which she tried to beat him with a broomstick that was lying on the ground, but he ducked and the blows damaged the rear light of the motorcycle.
During the confrontation, someone shouted that the motorcycle was stolen and when the police arrived she told them that Ohlson had stolen the motorbike – leading to his arrest.
Asked why she had accused her nephew of stealing the bike, she said: “Because I was angry.”
It turned out that she was in fact right. Because Ohlson was in possession of the stolen motorbike, but unable to explain himself to the police, the magistrate agreed with prosecutor Daniel Cloete that there was an inference, in law that he had stolen it.
The magistrate said the hapless owner of the bike was not insured and that it had cost him R10 000 to repair the damage.
Calling for a five-year jail sentence, the prosecutor said Ohlson had stolen the motorbike’s keys from the policeman’s unlocked car one night in February and had planned his return later that night to steal the bike.
The prison sentence was justified on the basis that, second to his house, a person’s most important life investment was their car (or motorcycle), the prosecutor said.
-African News Agency