Three suspects sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for damaging of essential infrastructure
The Provincial Head of the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation, Major Genera Zodwa Mokoena welcomed the sentence of the accused trio for damaging of essential infrastructure and contravention of the Immigration Act.
The accused; Thembinkosi Robert Zwane (36), Saneliso Lucky Shabalala (28) and Musa Twice Mabuza (37) have been lingering behind bars since their arrest in October 2021 by the Middelburg based Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation during the disruptive intelligence driven operation.
On 15 October 2021, overhead Transnet cables were cut-off at Wonderfontein railway lines in Belfast, Mpumalanga province. When the inspection was conducted, four foreign nationals were caught red-handed and they were arrested. They were charged with damaging of essential infrastructure and illegal immigration.
The experienced investigating officer who had already secured many sentences on similar offences managed to successfully oppose bail and the accused remained in custody. The linkages were done and the investigation placed the accused at the scene of crime.
The Belfast Regional Court was pleased with the proper investigation processes and sentenced the three accused to 15 years direct imprisonment plus 18 as well as 14 months imprisonment respectively on 14 November 2022.
The case against the fourth accused was postponed to 5 December 2022 for presiding and he remains in custody.