Tue, 15 Oct 2019

Metrorail has welcomed the conviction and imprisonment of seven people who stole and damaged essential rail infrastructure in Cape Town.

Mpololo Mbanga, Shakier Adams, Neville Mathews, Mark Boonzaaier, Oesman Mohamed, Leon Smith and Siyabonga Ndywili were charged with the theft and attempted theft of underground cables.

The incidents date back to May 2018 and the most recent theft of cables took place in March 2019. Most of the stolen items were recovered and most of the accused pleaded guilty.

Mbanga was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing 2.6m of underground signal cable, while Adams and Mathews will each serve four years behind bars.

Boonzaaier was handed a 12-year prison sentence of which six years were suspended.

Mohamed and Smith were each sentenced to 10 years in jail of which two years were suspended, and Ndywili was sentenced or 10 years of which four years were suspended.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) regional manager Richard Walker said "excellent forensic and investigative" led to the convictions.

"The region has access to excellent investigative and forensic resources which strengthen Prasa's cases in court and upskill our security teams. The evidence presented is compelling, hence most accused plead guilty," said Walker.

"We continue to work closely with [the police] to ensure crime prevention resources are directed optimally."

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