'Dagga, alcohol led me to jail'

A DUMB robber in Rustenburg, North West, could not have chosen a worse person to rob than a female police officer, in uniform nogal, and as a result has spent years in prison.

In 2005, Motheo Ricky Masilo of Tlhabane West, Rustenburg, North West, robbed a police officer. He was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Motheo, 33 has served seven years of his sentence and will be released on February 1.

Motheo was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children yesterday.

"I am looking forward to being released and leading a positive life.

"All the time that I spent in prison, although it was not good at all, has changed me into being a better person," Motheo said.

Recalling the day he committed the crime, Motheo said it was his indulgence in drugs that could have influenced him. "I drank a lot of alcohol and also smoked marijuana. I take full responsibility for what I did and would not want to blame it all on drugs, however they do have an effect on one's judgement. My time in prison made me realise that I had to change my life."

He also conceded that committing the crime was his own doing because his family "were not poor, I would say average", but he still chose to commit the crime.

"At the end of the day, drugs that we take cloud our judgements.

"I knew that she was a police officer because she was in her uniform.

"I didn't have the wisdom to know that my actions, especially against a police officer, would land me in prison. I pushed her down, took her badge, cellphone and about R300," he said.

While in prison, Motheo decided to turn his life around.

"I accepted the Lord into my life and I am also planning on completing my Matric.

"A lot of time has passed since I was locked up, but I am willing to work hard to make a success of my life," he said.