FRANCISTOWN: Two women have been found guilty of lying to public officers in an effort to acquire the National Identity card commonly known as Omang.
Principal Magistrate convicted Ntombizodwa Mpofu, 60, after she admitted to helping four people get birth certificates in order to acquire national identity cards in March 15, 2004 in Francistown at the Department of Civil and National Registration (CNR).
She was fined P500 for each of the counts that is payable within seven days failure to which she will serve an imprisonment term of a year.
In addition, she was sentenced to one year in jail wholly suspended for three years on condition that she does not commit a similar offence.
“An order is also made that the national identity cards should be taken from the people who acquired them illegally. The identity cards are hereby declared invalid,” said Basupi.
Mpofu admitted to assisting Promise Oabile, Alfred Oabile, Aleck Oabile and Lesego Oabile to apply for birth certificates and ultimately illegally acquire national identity cards by claiming that they were her grandchildren.
She said that the children’s mother Pauline Oabile is dead.
Passing sentence, Basupi said Mpofu was serious and determined to help her ‘grandchildren’ to illegally obtain national identity cards.
“The accused is charged with four counts of lying to a person employed in the public service. It seems that she was not satisfied with what she did first and she proceeded to dubiously obtain national identity cards for three other people. For the past 60 years, she had no brushes with the law,” said Basupi.
Furthermore, Basupi said Mpofu was a first offender who pleaded guilty to the charges, a factor that works well for her because she did not waste the court’s time, which is also a sign of remorse. “Offences of this nature are becoming prevalent in this jurisdiction. If one wants to acquire citizenship of another country, they must follow the proper procedure. Acquiring the citizenship of another country fraudulently deprives legal citizens of that country, the benefits they must enjoy from their government. The courts are therefore enjoined to pass sentences that will deter others from committing similar offences in future,” said Basupi.
In a similar case, Basupi fined Itumeleng Mpofu P500 for giving false information to a person employed in the public service in order to obtain Omang whilst she knew that she was a Zimbabwean.
The incident happened at the offices of the CNR in Francistown on November 3, 2014.
“The effects of this offence need not be overemphasised. I fine her P500 payable within seven days failure to which she shall serve a year in jail. I also sentence her to one year in jail, which is wholly suspended for three years on condition that she does not commit a similar offence. Her fake identity card is forfeited to the state and is hereby rendered invalid,” said Basupi.