Thabazimbi Regional Court sentence four accused to 49 years direct imprisonment for tampering and destroying of infrastructure

Thabazimbi Regional Court sentence four accused to 49 years direct imprisonment for tampering and destroying of infrastructure
Thabazimbi Regional Court sentence four accused to 49 years direct imprisonment for tampering and destroying of infrastructure. Image source: Pixabay

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has welcomed the sentencing of four accused aged between 31 and  35 by the Thabazimbi Regional Court for tempering and destroying of essential infrastructure. The sentencing was meted out on Friday, 31 May 2024.

The Court heard that on 10 May 2023 at around 23:20, the four accused, namely Chama Nelson (31), Chakaraya Artwell (31), Mathongo Blessing (35), and Marindire Ophius (32)  cut off the Transnet Railway line that was connected to Dwaalboom. This was discovered by a security guard (33) who was patrolling the area. During his patrol, he noticed some suspicious activity when he passed Swartkip crossing. He stopped the vehicle, and checked the place, he found that +-500 meters of contact lines (solar copper cables) were cut-off and stolen. The total cost was R200 000-00.

Police were summoned to the scene and opened a case of tampering and destroying essential infrastructure.

Later that day, the suspects were arrested in Brits policing area after the Police found them in possession of suspected stolen copper cables. They were arrested and linked with a case of stolen copper cables at Northam policing area.

The case was assigned to Constable Foster Mabeba of Essential Infrastructure Task Team Unit for further investigation.

During the court trial, the accused were denied bail until Thabazimbi Regional Court sentenced all of them as follows:

Count 1: Tampering and destroying essential infrastructure – 30 years direct imprisonment.

Count 2: Theft of ferrous or non-ferrous metals- 15 years direct imprisonment

Count 3: Failure to use port of entry – 02 years direct imprisonment

Count 4: Contravention of immigration Act: Entering the Republic of South Africa without passports: 02 years direct imprisonment.

“We appreciate the conviction and sentencing as passed by court and all the efforts by the arresting team as well the investigating officer,” said the Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Hadebe.

SAPS Newsroom