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CAPE TOWN - Western Cape South African Police Service (SAPS) management have welcomed the 12-year imprisonment sentencing handed down to 18-year-old Rethabile Mxolisi for "tampering, damage, and theft of copper cable".

The teenager was arrested in 2018 after 1800 metres of Eskom copper cable was cut and removed from a remote location in Robertson, north of Cape Town, resulting in the interruption of electricity services in the area, spokesperson .Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said on Sunday.

He was sentenced in the Robertson Magistrate's Court this past week to 12 years in prison in terms of legislation regarding tampering with, damaging, and stealing essential infrastructure, Rwexana said.

Acting Western Cape police commissioner Lt-Gen Sindile Mfazi said the conviction and subsequent sentencing would serve as a deterrent to would-be perpetrators of such acts. 

Tampering with, damaging, or stealing copper cable was a serious criminal offence that impacted on essential services, such as rail, telephone, and electricity services. The economy of the country also suffered as a result of these offences, Mfazi said.

African News Agency (ANA)