16 November 2022 |
South African news site Independent Online (IOL) reports that a Zimbabwean woman, who helped herself to church funds between 2012 and 2015, has been sentenced to three years of imprisonment. Lady Memory Mutsika, 43, had been charged with 128 counts of theft.
Mutsika worked as treasurer of the Pretoria Seventh-day Adventist Church, and her responsibilities included transferring tithes and offerings that were deposited into the church account. Unfortunately, this included transferring about R800,000 (or close to $46,000) into her own account for personal use.
The TimesLive reports that, in court, Mutsika pled guilty to the charges and asked for a non-custodial sentence to pay the church back the money over five years. However, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, argued that “Mutsika always indicated her willingness to pay back the money and has not paid back a single cent since March 2022, after she was convicted.”
Johannesburg daily paper The Citizen further states that Mahanjana believes “she stopped stealing not because of her conscience, but because she was caught. The church placed her in a position of trust, but she betrayed that trust.”