Two sentenced for tampering with rail infrastructure

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has welcomed the 10-year direct imprisonment of two Zimbabwean nationals for tampering with essential infrastructure.

In a statement on Wednesday, the agency hailed the sentence as a victory and commended its security for apprehending the men.

Namer Ndovu (27) and Collen Singanje (28) received 10-year direct imprisonment sentences each in the Pretoria North Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

“On 21 December 2020, the two were caught at Eskia Mphahlele Drive, in the Wonderboom area by PRASA security guards, 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,” the agency said on Wednesday.

In court, they 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 R 3000 each, 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, Prosecutor Manena told the court that damaging 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 wannabe suspects.

“Therefore, he asked the court to impose an appropriate sentence to restore trust in the justice system. Magistrate Phogotlhe Motlang agreed with the state,” said PRASA. –

Source: South African Government News Agency