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4 Zimbos jailed 50 years for railway line theft

FOUR Zimbabweans have been jailed for an effective 49 years each for the theft of part of a railway line and rail communication equipment in South Africa.

Nelson Chama (31), Artwell Chakaraya (31), Blessing Matongo (35) and Ophius Marindire (32) were sentenced on Friday when they appeared at the Thabazimbi Regional Court.

The value of stolen material is R200 000.

They committed the crimes in 2023.

“The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has welcomed the sentencing of the four by the Thabazimbi Regional Court for tampering and destroying of essential infrastructure,” South African Police Service spokesperson for Limpopo Province Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said in a statement.

For the count of tampering and destroying essential infrastructure, they were each jailed for 30 years with an additional 15 years for the theft of ferrous or non-ferrous metals.

They were each sentenced to two years for the third count of entering South Africa illegally.

Agreed facts were that on May 10, 2023, the quartet cut off the TransNet Railway line connected to Dwaalboom.

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 in possession of suspected stolen copper cables.

Source | NewsDay


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