Sasolburg accused pleads guilty for stealing Transnet copper cable

by Thys Khiba
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By Thys Khiba – Sehloho Sehloho (28), and Poloko  Ntoko (28), appeared and pleaded guilty for theft of Transnet copper cable at the  Sasolburg Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 21 October 2022.

“Their conviction originates from an incident which took place on 16 March 2022 where the local police in Zamdela were patrolling in the area and spotted a suspicious Toyota Fortuner,” said Free State Hawks spokesperson Captain Christopher Singo.

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This is after Zamdela police officials stopped and searched the vehicle. While searching the vehicle police discovered copper cable.

The two suspects were apprehended after they failed to prove ownership of the copper cable estimated value of more than R100 000. 

It was later discovered and confirmed later that the two havestolen it from Transnet.

Singo confirmed the case was then handed over to the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team based in Sasolburg which culminated into the conviction of the accused persons. 

“The court sentenced the accused to a fine of R20 000 on a count of theft or five years imprisonment. They were also fined R1500 on a count of illegal immigration or three months imprisonment.”

Recently Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola has granted approval for Transnet security officers to get peace officer status. This is to give them more power, including the ability to make arrests, as critical infrastructure comes under siege by criminals.

“As peace officers, Transnet’s security officers will be able (to) exercise powers in terms of Chapter 2 of the Criminal Procedures Act, thus enabling Transnet peace officers to make arrests and assist the National Prosecuting Authority with prosecutions.” 

“They will also be able to search premises, facilities and people, complete dockets to ensure suspects are charged correctly, and assist with basic investigations,” Transnet said in a statement.

Transnet confirmed it has experienced an exponential increase in cable theft incidents over the last five years, which has resulted in increases in tonnage and revenue losses, as well as repair costs. 

It has been confirmed more than 1 500km of cable has been stolen – a 1 096% increase in the length of cable stolen in the past five years – with a net financial impact of R4.1 billion.

CENTRAL NEWS

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