Transnet Freight Rail Battling Vandalism as Zimbabwean Copper Thieves Sentenced to 10 Years

Transnet Freight Rail Battling Vandalism as Zimbabwean Copper Thieves Sentenced to 10 Years

  • Two foreign nationals were sentenced to 10 years of direct imprisonment for the theft of copper cables from a Transnet site
  • The two were caught by security guards with eight signal copper cables worth R300K in December 2020
  • South Africans believe imprisonment is not enough as they will continue benefitting from tax, they are calling for their deportation

PRETORIA - South Africans were left discontent with hows their tax money is being used after two Zimbabwean nationals were sentenced to 10 years each for tampering with essential rail infrastructure.

Copper Cables.
Two Zimbabwean nationals have been sentenced to 10 years each for the theft of copper cables. Image: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Namer Ndlovu (27) and Collen Singanje (28) were arrested in December 2020 at Eskia Mpahlane Drive in the Wonderboom area after Passenger Rail Security Agency of South Africa (PRASA) guards caught them with eight signal copper cables.

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In a statement posted by @NPA_prosecutes on X, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said the two pleaded not guilty in court.

Mahanjana said state prosecutor Lufuno Manena was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt in court that the two were guilty.

"In aggravation effect, Prosecutor Manena told the court that damaging infrastructure affects the economy of the country, ordinary citizens, and businesses.
"He told the court that under the circumstances, the community needs to be protected by the courts by imposing a stiff sentence, which will deter not only the two but also the wannabe criminals," said Mahanjana.

This incident underscores the ongoing fight faced by Transnet Freight Rail against vandalism to South Africa's rail infrastructure.


Mzansi calls for deportation after release

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@DbongzaM remarked:

"There's no difference because we're still going to support them in prison with our tax money."

@AlcoholFall commented:

"Once the sentences are completed they are needed back in Zimbabwe to assist in growing the economy in their country."

@asandajongi suggested:

"Deport them, whose tax should they abuse?"

@KhathuNets said:

"After serving three years of their 10-year sentence, they might be releasedwith good behavior. Deportation is essential to prevent a repeat of their behaviour."


"I foresee EFF appealing the conviction, plus they have a new legal expert advocate in the house since yesterday."

Foreign nationals arrested with stolen copper

In a similar case, Briefly News reported that three foreign nationals were arrested by police after being found in possession of stolen copper worth R6 million.

The trio were arrested in Bishopstown in Pietermaritzburg. KwaZulu-Natal Police Spokesperson Robert Netshiunda said, the suspects were caught with a suspected stolen trailer and container where the copper was. They were charged with being found in possession of stolen property.

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Copper thieves endanger 24 patients

Briefly News previously reported that 24 lives were put on the line at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital after 10 metres of essential copper piping was stolen.

Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) were left with lower-than-normal levels following the incident. Of the 24 patients, 19 were on life support, with the lives dependent on oxygen access through artificial ventilation.

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Source: Briefly News

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