The regional court in Mokopane, in Limpopo, has convicted and sentenced a 35-year-old man who was arrested for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, a silver Toyota Fortuner, to six years in jail.
Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba, provincial police spokesperson in Limpopo, said Shane Mthombeni was sentenced to six years of direct imprisonment, without the option to pay a fine.
“The court heard that the South African citizen, Shane Mthombeni was intercepted by police while driving a silver motor vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner at Nyl Toll Plaza along the N1 Highway on Monday, October 30,” Mashaba said.
Members of the Limpopo police’s provincial tracking team, in conjunction with a private security company operationalised information which had been gathered, and arrested the driver.
“The team, at the time, had reliable information which made them to have reason to believe that the vehicle would be driving from Gauteng province, along the N1 highway to Beitbridge port of entry to be smuggled to Zimbabwe,” said Mashaba.
“A case of possession of suspected stolen motor vehicle was immediately opened against the accused and it was transferred to the vehicle investigation unit for further handling.”
Preliminary investigations revealed that popular Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) was hijacked in Benoni on October 25.
Police concluded and presented findings of their investigations but in court, Mthombeni opted not to apply for bail.
After finding him guilty, the court in Limpopo also declared Mthombeni unfit to possess a firearm.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has applauded the law enforcement team for their “outstanding performance” and she also welcomed the sentencing meted out against Mthombeni.
“This conviction and the sentence will serve as a deterrent to would-be car thieves,” said Hadebe.