WINDHOEK – An alleged shoplifter on Tuesday denied being apprehended in the shop from where she is alleged to have stolen five boy’s shorts, T-shirts and a pajamas.
The accused Anita Shongeleni told the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court that she met with a friend who already had a red plastic bag at Wernhil Park before they went shopping in Ackermann’s store. She narrated that it was after exiting the shop and sitting at the nearby Wimpy eatery when a security guard accosted them. The security guard, whom she identified as Mervin Gaweseb, was not even from Ackermann’s, but from another nearby clothing retailer.
Shongeleni testified that after Gaweseb approached them the friend whom she only identified as “Nelao” ran away leaving her there with the red plastic bag. She agreed to follow Gaweseb and they went to Ackermann’s where she was body searched and when nothing was found on her the ‘red plastic bag’ was opened and the boy’s clothing with Ackermann’s price tags found inside.
On a question from her lawyer, Tommy Andima, she said that she did not know what was inside the bag and that she never put anything inside the bag.
Earlier, Breshnuff Tjipepa who was on duty at the store that day testified that he was in the shop when he noticed two young women coming in with sling bags over their shoulders. While watching them from behind another stand, Tjipepa said, he saw the two women open a bag and take out a folded plastic bag and start taking clothing and placing it in the bag. After watching them for a while he alerted the security guard not to let them leave the shop.
According to Tjipepa, the two ladies then tried to exit the shop and the security guard on duty stopped them and he also went to them and asked them to accompany him to the fitting rooms. He further explained that at the fitting rooms he asked one of the female shop assistants to conduct a body search on the two ladies and after nothing was found on them he opened the Identity plastic bag in their presence and found the mentioned items valued at N$1 099.35 in the bag.
On a question from the prosecution on what happened to the other lady that was with Shongeleni, he said that they let her go because the bag was found in the possession of Shongeleni.
Tjipepa further told the court that Shongeleni even offered to pay for the items after she was caught, but as their procedures do not allow it, the City Police were called.
Shongeleni on the other hand completely disputed Tjipepa’s version and called it a fabrication. She will now call the security guard, Gaweseb, to come and testify on her behalf when the trial resumes next week Tuesday, September 3. Shongeleni is out on bail of N$3 000.
By Roland Routh