Durban — Four men charged with being in possession of 24 tons of stolen copper cables belonging to eThekwini Municipality and Telkom, estimated at R5 million, will appear in the Pinetown Regional Court on August 8.
Sudashon Chetty, 41, Simosakhe Chiliza, 32, Richard Mnguni, 40, Thulasizwe Ngcobo, 26, and Mthokozisi Mchunu, 39, are charged with being in possession of suspected stolen property (ferrous or non-ferrous metal).
They appeared in court on Wednesday.
According to the charge sheet, the accused were found in the unlawful possession of copper cables valued at R5m in Pinetown on February 2.
On February 23, they had their bail application heard in court, which was opposed by the State. However, they were granted bail of R1 000 each.
At that time Chetty, from Kloof, was self-employed as a dealer in used cars and in his bid for bail he told the court that he had two children who depended on him financially and that he would deny the charge levelled against him.
Chetty told the court on the day the police arrived on the property, sub-leased to a tenant by himself and his wife, he was on the said property to collect the deposit from the tenant for the newly sub-leased property.
Chetty said the other accused were his employees prior to the sub-leasing of the property.
Chetty told the court that following the subleasing agreement he terminated their employment, and they were then employed by his tenant.
“Our sub-tenant Mohammed was present and standing in close proximity to two trucks in which the police found stolen copper cables. The two trucks, to the best of my knowledge, were and are owned by Mohammed. I had no knowledge whatsoever that they contained stolen copper cables … I was astounded when the police … arrested the accused and I,” he said at the time.
Chiliza, from Burlington, also said he had nothing to do with the charge laid against him.
However, the investigating officer, Captain Enock Azile of the Durban organised crime unit, said in his affidavit that the police received information that suspects were loading copper cable into trucks on the premises in Unit 10.
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