Seven sentenced to 25 years for stealing copper cables

Borca Nergio, 34, Casper Una, 42, Ernest Mulima, 25, Donald Msindisi, 34, Nandos Khoza, 26, Zakeya Maguana, 37, and Donald Ubise, 26, were sentenced to 25years imprisonment by the Queenstown Regional Court on Tuesday for damage to essential infrastructure, theft and contravention of the immigrations act.

Hawks spokesperson, Yolisa Mgolodela said on Monday, May 2, 2022 at about 8:55pm a white Toyota Fortuner with a GP registration plate was transporting stolen copper cables worth more than R700 000.

“The vehicle had eight occupants including the driver. The vehicle was spotted at Cathcart Road by police K9 unit members, and they were arrested for being in possession of the then suspected property. All suspects were foreign nationals from Johannesburg,” she said.

Mgolodela said the seven accused were remanded in custody ever since their arrest while the eighth one, Raul Emanuel Auchele, 50, was released on bail.
“They made a series of court appearances until November 7, 2023.”

Mgolodela said the seven accused were sentenced to seven years direct imprisonment for damage to essential infrastructure, 15 years direct imprisonment for theft and three years direct imprisonment for contraventions of the immigration act.

“Each of the accused according to the sentence is expected to spend 25 years incarcerated but due to the fact that count 1 and 3 run con-currently they will each spend 15 years incarcerated.

“Auchella’s case is still in court as he is repeatedly failing to appear in court due to ill-health,” he said.

Hawks provincial head Major General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya expressed his elation with the sentence as the damage to essential infrastructure is adversely affecting the economy of the country.