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Shaie Zindel
Shaie Zindel, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1248
Experience:  All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.
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Hi, My 19 year old son was arressed today after being charged

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My 19 year old son was arressed today after being charged with theft. My son has told me that he was given R400 worth of goods ( growth supplements) from a shop in June. He took the goods and with the intention of making payment at a later stage. However he did not make payment but made on-going promises to the owner which were never kept. At one point he told the owner he had transferred money into her account but this was a lie. The owner of the shop became very annoyed and laid a charge of theft. She has still not been paid.
My son was released on bail today but has to appear in court on Tuesday to face a charge of theft .

I have 4 questions :

1. Does this scenario as described above constitute theft?
2. How do we best defend this?
3. Should I get a criminal lawyer to accompany us to court?
4. Is it legally wise to try and persuade the shop owner to drop charges ?

Mr Chetty
Hi Mr Chetty - this sounds like a pathetic waste of time and an attempt by the Shop owner to abuse the State and its power to do the debt collecting for the Shop. Your son must go see the prosecutor (preferably with a lawyer) who should argue that this is a simple civil case of breach of contract and that the shop owner is totally abusing the law. If the shop owner believes your son owes the money they must simply issue a summons and let the case be heard in a regular Court - this attempt to short circuit the civil laws is simply an abuse. I don't think this is a case of theft because the shop owner voluntarily let your son take the goods without paying for them - in law it becomes a credit transaction. Maybe go with and offer to pay the R400 if they are prepared to call it a day. I would suggest you get a lawyer to assist as this will make the process a lot simpler and quicker - just use someone reputable. I hope this helps and wish you luck. Please remember to rate my service so - Regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Thank you.


1.Should I approach the shop owner before the court on Tuesday and offer to pay? Or should I instead wait for the court appearance.


2. I agree with your opinion that the case is pathetic however why did the police respond by electing to arrest him?


I would maybe try get someone to speak to the shop owner but not you or your son as it may look like interference. Unfortunately many police will do this kind of thing for payment of a little money it's really all just a corrupt system.
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