In February 2015 the applicant was charged in the magistrates’ court at Bulawayo with fraud as defined in s 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23] (“the Criminal Law Code”). The background to the charge is that the applicant was the legal practitioner representing one Lungisani Sibanda (“Lungisani”), who was serving a seven-year prison sentence at Khami Maximum Prison for the offence of car theft.
After a failed attempt was made to obtain liberty for Lungisani, it was alleged that the applicant obtained a fake warrant of liberation misrepresenting that Lungisani had been granted bail pending appeal. It was alleged that the fake warrant of liberation was given to Lungisani’s sister Lilian. She was the one to present the fake warrant of liberation of her brother from prison to the relevant authorities. In the statement she gave to the police, Lilian implicated the applicant.
After a full trial, the applicant was convicted of the offence and sentenced to forty-eight months’ imprisonment, of which twelve months were suspended for five years on conditions of good behaviour.