4 Zimbabweans Sentenced to 8 Years in Jail for Cellphone Tower Battery Theft

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4 Zimbabweans Sentenced to 8 Years in Jail for Cellphone Tower Battery Theft

Four Zimbabwean nationals have been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for tampering with essential infrastructure.

The four, Milton Ncube (36), Talent Moyo (26), Malacky Moyo (47), and Mphokeleli Ndlovu (26) were sentenced by the Klerksdorp Regional Court on Friday, 11 February 2022.

They were arrested in September 2019 in Klerksdorp for theft of 18 lithium batteries from a cellphone tower belonging to one of South Africa’s cellphone service providers.

North West police spokesperson Captain Aafje Botma said that batteries were stolen from the tower and replaced, but the next day they were stolen again.

“Consequent to the intensive search by the police and private security personnel in Klerksdorp, a white Toyota Fortuner was spotted driving away from the tower. The suspects were chased and arrested in Potchefstroom by the local Flying Squad members,” Botma said.

He added that 18 batteries were found in their vehicle. The accused were linked to two more cases of tampering with essential infrastructure committed in September 2019 in Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom respectively.

The accused’s bail application was successfully opposed. As a result, they remained in custody until their sentencing.

The court further declared them unfit to possess firearms and ordered for their deportation to Zimbabwe after completion of their sentences.

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena lauded all role players for their dedication that resulted in securing the conviction and sentences which he said will certainly sound a warning that those who tamper or destroy essential infrastructure, will be dealt with harshly.

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