Woolworths Looter Receives Suspended Sentence and House Arrest

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
2 Min Read

In a ruling at the Durban Regional Court, 32-year-old Mbuso Moloi, infamously known as the Woolworths looter, has been sentenced to a three-year prison term, completely suspended for five years. Moloi, who admitted guilt for theft and contravention of traffic regulations in March, will instead serve 18 months of correctional supervision under house arrest. Additionally, he is required to perform 16 hours of community service every month, with the duration to be determined by the correctional services commissioner.

Mbuso Moloi gained notoriety after being identified in viral cellphone footage captured during the civil unrest in July 2021. The video shows Moloi leaving a Woolworths store in Glenwood, Durban, with a basket full of unpaid items before getting into a luxury Mercedes-Benz with a mismatched license plate. During his plea, Moloi admitted to taking a few items, including washing powder and juice.

State prosecutor Vishalan Moodley urged Magistrate Melanie de Jager to impose a direct prison sentence, citing the seriousness of Moloi’s offense. However, defense lawyer Advocate Willie Lombard argued for a wholly suspended sentence, emphasizing Moloi’s remorse. Ultimately, the court followed the recommendation of a social worker who deemed direct imprisonment too severe but considered a suspended sentence too lenient. As part of his rehabilitation, Moloi will attend anger management classes and skills development programs at his own expense.

Afaf Al Fahchouch

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