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KWAZULU-NATAL – On Thursday 12 May 2022, Newcastle Regional Court convicted and sentenced five accused for possession of stolen property and tempering with essential infrastructure.

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 4 July 2021. 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.

A case of possession of property suspected to be stolen was registered at Kingsley police station and the case docket was allocated to the Hawks members from Newcastle Serious Organised Crime Investigation. During investigation it was established that the copper cables were stolen from Transnet railway lines in Mahlabathini.

All accused were sentenced to ten years direct imprisonment each and they were declared unfit to possess firearm.