Tebogo Msimanga |
The Molteno Magistrate’s Court in Eastern Cape on Friday sentenced 17 Lesotho nationals aged between 21 and 48 years for Contravention of the Immigration Act. In April 2021, a suspicious-looking Quantum vehicle was spotted and chased by the police. Inside the Quantum, were Lesotho foreign nationals who could not explain the purpose of the journey.
Eastern Cape Hawks Spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said permits were requested to no avail. “All of them were arrested. Investigations led the police to a house in Sterkstroom where more of the accused were hosted to make up the 17”.
Mgolodela said the case dragged due to their lack of cooperation. “At times they would even refuse to comply with their legal representative’s instruction and repeatedly changed attorneys”.
Captain Mgolodela added that after a series of court appearances all pleaded guilty on 19 May 2022 hence their sentencing on Friday, 3 June 2022. The accused are to remain incarcerated for three months.
The Provincial Head Major General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya commended the Queenstown Serious Organised Crime Unit of the Hawks for the job well done but said: “a harsher sentence would have been preferred to deter such criminal conducts”.