Habitual burglar finally behind bars

2017-05-24 06:02

The long arm of the law has caught up with habitual burglar August Phakedi Mogoregi (63), who has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

The Welkom Regional Court sentenced the accused recently after finding him guilty of house breaking and robbery in Welkom in 2009.

Mogoregi’s sentencing comes after five years during which he evaded arrest, hiding in Qwaqwa in the Free State.

Capt. S’fiso Nyakane, the Hawks’ provincial spokesperson, said Mogoregi, who had been in hiding in Qwaqwa, was found and rearrested in April.

“He was arrested at his hiding place after five years on the run. Mogoregi mysteriously received bail and never attended court thereafter, since 2009,” said Nyakane.

He said the accused pleaded guilty to all charges of housebreaking and robbery committed in Welkom.

Nyakane said Mogoregi had previous convictions for housebreaking dating back to 1979, 1983 and 1989. He said the accused man’s conviction includes escaping from custody in 1983.

Nyakane said Mogoregi was one of three men who were involved in housebreaking and robbery.

He said his accomplices, Timely Faith Coetzee (33) and Foreman Matee (53), were convicted and sentenced each to 13 years imprisonment in 2014 by the same court.

He said the trio held a family at gunpoint at their home in Welkom, robbing them of jewellery, mobile phones and R50 000 cash. Thereafter, they fled the scene.

“Through intensive investigation by the Hawks and the police, Coetzee was arrested on the night of the incident. Mogoregi and Matee were arrested a week later in Welkom,” said Nyakane. He said the stolen jewellery, mobile phones and cash were recovered.

Brig. Tsokolo Phusholi, the acting head of the Hawks in the Free State, has welcomed the sentence and has given his approval to the unit investigation officer for a job well done in finding Mogeregi.

“This must be a warning to other criminals that you can run, but you cannot hide from the Hawks. We found Mogoregi after five years on the run and brought him to book,” said Phu­sholi.

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