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2022/10/18      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 23 September 2022 - A 57-year-old Elmon Benjamin Dzimba was sentenced by the Bethal Magistrates' Court to six years direct imprisonment on a charge of possession of stolen property (motor vehicle) on Friday, 14 October 2022.

His sentence came after a theft of motor vehicle case was reported and registered for investigation with Midrand SAPS last year (2021) whereby a client, Mr Naveer Singh aged 32 rented a green Defender Land Rover (2021 model) from a rental company for the duration of three days from 30 October 2021 to 01 November 2021.  Unfortunately he failed to return the rented vehicle though he paid for the car and rental agreement was signed by both parties.

The said vehicle was fitted with some tracking devices and on 08 November 2021, an investigator from Avis car rental was tasked to trace the client who failed or refused to return a rented vehicle. The investigator contacted Cartrack and it was discovered that the tracking device was compromised or malfunctioning and the Mixtelematix device indicated that the vehicle was somewhere in Bethal.

A recovery team was dispatched to locate the vehicle which was found parked next to a certain business premises dealing in glass fitment at Bethal. The local police were summoned to the scene. On arrival, the said motor vehicle and the driver were found however the registration number plates as well as license disk were changed.

An employee from Avis recovery team informed the police that he was in position of a spare-key for the vehicle and requested that he use them to unlock the vehicle, which he did. The accused was then arrested for possession of suspected stolen motor vehicle.

Further investigation revealed that Mr Singh who rented the motor vehicle worth about R1 million had allegedly sold it to the accused with the amount of R250 000.00 in November 2021.

The accused appeared on several occasions before the Bethal Magistrate’s Court facing the said charge and was found guilty and sentenced to six years direct imprisonment on a charge of possession of suspected stolen motor vehicle.

Meanwhile, Mr Singh who rented out the vehicle was arrested in Gauteng and was granted R5000.00 bail. He last appeared at the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on 15 July and his case has been provisionally withdrawn awaiting for transcripts from Bethal.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has appreciated the work done by investigators from both the tracker company (Avis) and the SAPS as they did a sterling work in making sure that the perpetrator is brought to book and behind bars, “This should be a lesson to all those who buy stolen goods" warned the General.