A church treasurer identified as Memory Mutsika has been sentenced to three years imprisonment after convicting her of 128 counts of theft.
Mutsika, 43, was a church treasurer of the Pretoria City Seventh-Day Adventist Church and her responsibilities included transferring tithe and offering money deposited to the church account, to the northern conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
“During a period of four years from 2012 to 2015, Mutsika transferred more than R800,000 of the money received from the tithe and offerings to her bank account and for her personal use,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said.
In court, Mutsika admitted guilt and requested a non-custodial sentence so that he could repay the church the money over a five-year period.
“However, the state 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. The magistrate agreed with the state and said Mutsika showed no remorse,” Mahanjana said.
However, Mahanjana said the accused only indicated her willingness to repay the monies after she was convicted and had not paid a cent back since March 2022.
The magistrate said Mutsika didn’t show any remorse and that she stopped stealing not because of her conscious, but because she was caught. The magistrate said the church had placed Mutsika in a position of trust, but she betrayed that trust.
“He further said that he viewed Mutsika’s 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 appropriate and criminal conduct has consequences,” the NPA said.