A Bulawayo businessman left the court in stitches when he wept begging the magistrate not to send him to prison claiming he was ill.
Tapfumanei Zhou (44), of Number 13 Sparrow Lake in Burnside and who owns a number of shops in the western suburbs trading as TZ Supermarkets, had been convicted by Mr Richard Ramaboea sitting at the Western Commonage Courts for assaulting one of his workers.
When the magistrate pronounced the sentence that he was to pay a fine of $100 or be sent to jail for one month in default, Zhou broke down in tears begging the magistrate to be lenient with him.
He only calmed down after the interpreter explained to him what the sentence meant.
"How will I survive in jail? I am partially blind and am not feeling well, who is going to assist me?" said Zhou as he broke into tears.
He had initially denied ever assaulting Ms Prudence Utete (20), of 2941 Nketa 7 at Apollo Bottle Store in Emakhandeni accusing her of leaving his shop unattended.
The court, however, convicted him due to overwhelming evidence, after a testimony by witnesses showed that soon after assaulting her, Zhou had driven to Ms Utete's uncle, a Mr Norman Ngwaru in Nketa, and begged for forgiveness for assaulting his niece.
The State's case as presented by Ms Fiona Ncube was that on 23 April, TZ, as Zhou is known by his business associates, arrived at Apollo shops at about 2pm and found customers not being attended to while Ms Utete was having lunch behind the shop.
He started shouting at her and slapped her twice in the face.
Ms Utete reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of Zhou.
He told the court there was no way he could have beaten somebody because he was partially blind.
New York Times
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