A 43-year-old Zimbabwean church treasurer has been sentenced to three years in prison on 128 counts of theft by the Pretoria Specialist Commercial Crimes Court in South Africa.
As a treasurer, her responsibilities was to transfer tithe and offering money deposited to the church account, to the Northern Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
The church placed her in a position of trust, but she betrayed that trust.
From 2012 to 2015, she transferred more than R800, 000 of the money received from the tithe and offerings to her bank account and for her personal use.
In court, she pleaded guilty to the charges and asked for a non custodial sentence to pay the church back the money over five years.
However, the state argued that she always indicated her willingness to pay back the money and has not paid back a single cent since March 2022, after she was convicted.
The magistrate agreed with the state and said she showed no remorse. He said she stopped stealing not because of her conscience, but because she was caught.
He further said that he viewed her willingness to pay back the money, as a bargaining tool and as a ticket to keep her out of prison.
Therefore, a sentence of imprisonment was appropriated.