‘Accused cable thief hid in bakkie’

2015-01-21 00:00

A MAN on trial in the Pietermaritzburg regional court for theft of over R400 000 worth of copper cable was allegedly among a group found ­hiding in the bin of a bakkie on top of rolls of stolen Transnet conductor cables in 2012.

This was said by state advocate Annelize Harrison when she outlined the case the prosecution hopes to prove against Joseph Bila (26) of ­Daveyton. Bila is allegedly an illegal immigrant who entered the country on a date and place unknown to the state. According to the charge sheet, his nationality is unknown.

However, Harrison yesterday told regional magistrate Bhekizitha ­Phoswa that the state would not lead any evidence in relation to the charge that Bila contravened the Immigration Act.

Bila, who is represented by advocate Thulasizwe Ngubane, has pleaded not guilty to five counts. They are: theft of overhead cables worth R439 064 from Transnet at ­Balgowan on August 29, 2012; ­malicious ­injury to property for ­cutting or damaging the cable; ­money laundering, escaping from ­police custody at Nottingham Road on September 2, 2012; and entering the country illegally without a valid passport or other documents.

The court was told that the money laundering charge arises from the fact that Bila, and his accomplices, allegedly knew the cable in question was stolen. In a bid to conceal the nature of the cable, it was cut into small ­pieces, some of the conductor cable was hidden in vegetation and some of it was moved at night.

Harrison said the prosecution will lead evidence that Bila was connected to the theft of the overhead cables at Balgowan. When private investigators identified a “suspicious” bakkie in the area, two of the occupants jumped from the moving vehicle.

“There was a canvas cover on the bin. When it was lifted, five suspects were found lying on top of rolls of copper conductor cable, as well as paraphernalia used to cut it,” ­Harrison said.

The case is proceeding.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.