Seven years in jail for men who cut up, stole Transnet railway tracks

Seven men have been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment each after pleading guilty to tampering with, damaging and destroying essential Transnet railway infrastructure.

The suspects were caught transporting the stolen railway line to a scrap yard in bakkies. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

Mlamuli Mntungwana, 38, Sipho Mkhwanazi, 52, Felamandla Mpanza, 45, Nhlakanipho Mkhwanazi, 33, Thembinkosi Ngema, 41, Sabelo Mathola, 32, and Njabulo Ncube, 32, were sentenced in the Camperdown regional court in KwaZulu-Natal.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Kara said the men cut up and stole railway tracks in the Richmond area in January.

“They were arrested the next day while on their way to the scrapyard with the railway lines loaded in bakkies. The estimated value of the metal is R750,000. In aggravation of sentence, the state told the court the offence was serious and all too prevalent, thus negatively affecting our ailing economy.”

The men were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment each, three of which were suspended with conditions. They will serve an effective seven years in prison.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Orrin Singh