Pretoria – The Pretoria Regional Court has sentenced Zimbabwean national, Petros Vingiran, 26, to six years direct imprisonment for theft of essential infrastructure.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson in Gauteng, Lumka Mahanjana said Vingiran pleaded guilty, and was convicted of theft of essential infrastructure and being illegal in South Africa.
“On 27 October 2021, at Koedoespoort Campus on a functional railway, Vingiran was found by security stealing locomotive bearings, valued at R132 000, that belonged to Transnet. The security alerted the police and he was arrested on the scene,” Mahanjana said.
“Prosecutor Dru Ramsamy, asked the court to impose a prescribed minimum sentence, because of the effects this type of offence has in the community, as money that is supposed to be spent on developing communities, is now spent on replacing the damaged items and tightening security.”
She said the court heard that Vingiran had no regards for the laws of the country “over and above being an illegal immigrant”.
The NPA has welcomed the sentence handed down to Vingiran.
Earlier this month, five men were arrested for allegedly stealing railway tracks valued at R1.5 million in Morgenzon, Mpumalanga.
At the time, spokesperson for the the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation – better known as the Hawks, said.
The Hawks spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi, said the men, between 27 and 56 years old, were arrested during a disruptive operation after police received information that the suspects were stealing railway lines in Morgenzon.
“On arrival at the identified area, five suspects were found loading railway lines onto two trucks, a tractor, a front loader and a bakkie.
“The tracks are estimated at about R1.5m,” Sekgotodi said.