Crime does not pay

Scelo Mathontsi regrets living a life of crime as it has left him physically-challenged and homeless.

Despite being perpetrators of violent crimes in several suburbs in Durban to eke out a living, beggars Scelo Mathontsi and Mfundo Sithole still find themselves living a life of poverty.

In a split second, Mathontsi’s life changed last year when his leg broke after being chased by police. He walks with crutches and begs at the corner of Stephen Dlamini and St Thomas Road in Musgrave.  A young and desperate Mathontsi delved into the world of crime to make a living.

He made a substantial amount of money from breaking the law, but now he regrets those transgressions because he has been left physically-challenged and homeless.

The 30-year-old from Clermont started stealing and robbing people on the street at a young age. He then moved up the crime ladder to terrorising and robbing people in their homes. Mathontsi said he lost his leg when he was trying to run from the police after he broke into a house in Umhlanga last year.

“I was jumping over a fence, trying to escape from the police. My leg broke and it was the worst moment of my life.  It had to be amputated,” he said. Sicelo said crime, which is contrary to what young up and coming criminals often believe, does not pay. It only leads to a person living a miserable life.

Mathontsi became a beggar so he can buy food and pay for shelter to sleep on days that are too cold. A small distance away from Sicelo is a crippled Mfundo Sithole who also begs for money.

ALSO READ: Blog: Do you give money to street beggars?

Mfundo used to be a hardcore criminal before begging on the street. He was notorious in Mayville for how cruel he was when he would rob innocent people. He said he was robbing an elderly woman of her earrings when he was beaten up by a mob in 2010. A mechanic hit him on the head with a four pound.

“Crime does not pay. I regret all the bad things I did to do to other people. If I could take it all back, I would,” he said. He is now looking for his mother whom he has never met since he was born. He does not know his father and believes that his uncle stays in Inanda where he used to live before he ended up on the streets.

Article: Anele Nduzulwana

Anele Nduzulwana

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