A former treasurer of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Pretoria has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing church tithes.
Zimbabwean Memory Mutsika was on Wednesday sentenced to three years for stealing R800 000 from the Seventh Day Adventist Church where she was a treasurer.
Mutsika appeared before the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court and was sentenced to three years imprisonment on 128 counts of theft carried out between 2012 and 2015.
The 43-year-old’s responsibilities included transferring tithes and offerings deposited in the church account to the Northern Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. During this period, Mutsika reportedly transferred more than R800 000 of the church money received from the tithes and offerings to her bank account, for her personal use.
She pleaded guilty to all charges and pled she be given a non-custodial sentence to pay the church back the money over five years.
However, the state argued that Mutsika had previously indicated her willingness to pay back the money but consistently failed to deliver on her promises, which is why she was given a custodial sentence of three years.
“The magistrate agreed with the state and said Mutsika showed no remorse. 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.