Tebogo Msimanga |
The Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Friday sentenced two Mozambican nationals Joel Kabene (34) and July Sithole (34), to 15 years of direct imprisonment for destroying essential infrastructure. They were also sentenced to two years imprisonment, for being illegal in the country. The Magistrate ordered the sentence should run concurrently and they also be declared unfit to possess a firearm.
The two were arrested by the police the day after the offence on 15 December 2020, after they were caught by members of the Combined Private Investigations (CPI), on N4 bridge & William Cruywangen Street, cutting copper cables belonging to Telkom valued at R10 000, which affected internet and data lines.
The National Prosecuting Authority(NPA) Lumka Mahanjana said they accept the sentence and believe that it goes a long way in bringing such economic saboteurs to book. “Damage to and tampering with essential infrastructure results in major service delivery interruptions as well as negatively impacting on businesses, communities and the economy”
It is estimated that cable theft costs the South African economy between R5 billion and R7 billion a year. For this reason, this crime type is considered a priority by the NPA.