Durban - Five men convicted for stealing copper cables from Transnet railway lines in Mahlabathini have been jailed.
The men were convicted on charges of possession of stolen property and tampering with essential infrastructure.
They were sentenced in the Newcastle Regional Court.
The five accused, Zefania Bhululu, 32, Mike Chauke, 28, Izek Mapamo, 25, James Mawoza, 27, and Mzomhle Thathi, 26, were arrested by Kingsley Visible Policing members on July 4, 2021.
According to Hawks spokesperson, Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo police were conducting their patrol duties when they noticed a quantum combi travelling from Vryheid towards Utrecht.
“They stopped the vehicle and a search was conducted. Upon searching, pieces of copper cables were found in the boot.
“During investigation it was established that the copper cables were stolen from Transnet railway lines in Mahlabathini,” Mhlongo said.
In a separate incident, in KwaZulu-Natal this week, two men who were allegedly stealing cables at the Duff’s Roads train station on Saturday morning were shot dead.
It is alleged that the men, aged 28 and 31, were found dead on the railway tracks.
Police found digging equipment, spades, picks, axes and hacksaws in recently opened trenches, as well as several cut-off cables at the scene.