By IOL News
THE Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court has sentenced two Zimbabwean nationals, Namer Ndovu, 27, and Collen Singanje, 28, to 10 years of direct imprisonment each after they were convicted for tampering with essential infrastructure.
The two were arrested on December 21, 2020, at Eskia Mpahlane Drive in the Wonderboom area of Tshwane after Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) security guards found them with eight pieces of signal copper cables.
“The Prasa security guards took the two and the cables to the police station to report the matter, where they were arrested and have been in custody since,” said Lumka Mahanjana, Gauteng regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
In court, Ndovu and Singanje pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“However, State prosecutor Lufuno Manena was able to prove the State’s case beyond a reasonable doubt. The State called John Motswaledi, a corporate security investigator at Prasa, who told the court that each cable was valued at R3,000 each,” Mahanjana said.
“However, the crime committed had an impact of over R300,000 on the company because of what went into replacing and repairing the damage done.”
In aggravation of sentence, Manena also told the court that damaging the national infrastructure affects the economy of the country, ordinary citizens, and businesses.
He also told the court that under the circumstances, the community needs to be protected by the courts by imposing a stiff sentence, which will deter not only the two but also the wannabe criminals.
Manena therefore requested the court impose “an appropriate sentence” to restore trust in the justice system.
“Magistrate Phogotlhe Motlang agreed with the State and said that the sentence given was appropriate,” said Mahanjana.
“The NPA welcomes the sentence.”
Last month, four men and a teenager, who are Mozambican nationals, appeared before the Delmas Magistrate’s Court on charges of damaging essential infrastructure.
Four Mozambican men and a 14-year-old boy were arrested last month for allegedly stealing Transnet overhead cables worth R3 million. Picture: Hawks
At the time, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (also known as Hawks) in Mpumalanga said the five accused were caught red-handed stealing Transnet’s overhead cables in Delmas.
Spokesperson for the Hawks in Mpumalanga, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi, listed the five men as Joshua Mavia Mapendani, 34; Sizwe Rinze Masasane, 27; Themba Swele, 27; and Lino Matchave, 23.