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2022/05/12      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel M Masondo   |   Province:  Gauteng

PARKTOWN - Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has welcomed the successful conviction and sentencing of two men who were arrested for stealing copper cables belonging to Eskom.

Anye Valentine Nkwenti was sentenced to fifteen years direct imprisonment and Happy Dube was sentenced to twelve years direct imprisonment after they were found guilty of malicious damage to essential infrastructure and possession of stolen property. A warrant of arrest has been issued against two other accused, Victor Ncube and Ian Chitova who failed to appear before court after they were released on bail.

The four were arrested in November 2018 when they were found red handed, cutting a copper cable belonging to Eskom at Ystervarkfontein in Weelbekend, Tshwane.

"I am pleased with the successful conviction and sentencing of the accused as this will send a strong message to those who continue to damage our essential infrastructure. We remain committed in fighting the scourge of copper cable theft and protection of essential infrastructure in our province. I am  warning those who are still involved in this criminality - it is just a matter of time before you are also behind bars,” said Lieutenant General Mawela.

Police have launched a manhunt for the suspects who failed to appear before the court. We appeal to anyone who might have information about the whereabouts of these suspects to please call the Investigating Officer Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Selopane on 076 493 6080 or 083 436 2819.