Rental agent fails to escape jail after second theft

31 May 2017 - 12:46
By Ernest Mabuza
Image: Thinkstock

A previous conviction for theft and a suspended sentence accompanying it did not seem to deter Martha Broodryk from committing a similar offence.

The Nelspruit regional court had in 2005 sentenced Broodryk to a six-year prison term‚ wholly suspended‚ for theft of R200,000 from her employer.

However‚ Broodryk was found guilty by the Lydenburg Regional Court of theft of R63,300 from her employer Homenet‚ while still serving the suspended sentence.

Broodryk‚ who worked as a rental agent in 2010‚ asked tenants of Homenet to pay rentals into her personal bank account and not the one belonging to Homenet.

The Lydenburg Regional Court sentenced her to a five-year prison term.

The court reasoned that if it imposed a light sentence or correctional supervision‚ this would send out the wrong message to society that crime might pay after all.

The high court in Pretoria dismissed Broodryk’s appeal against sentence.

Broodryk appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) against the sentence with the court’s special leave.

The SCA dismissed her appeal and said the sentence imposed was not shockingly inappropriate.

“It is regrettable that the previous conviction did not have any deterrent effect on (Broodryk)‚” Judge of Appeal Halima Saldulker said in a judgment passed on Monday.

She said Broodryk was clearly unrepentant for her past conduct as she committed this theft not out of need‚ but greed.

“The appellant showed no remorse for her actions. Courts take a serious view of white-collar crimes and its corrosive impact upon society.”

- TMG Digital/TimesLIVE