Municipal employees arrested for copper theft

2015-04-30 14:33

THREE Msunduzi municipal employees were recently arrested for copper-cable theft.

Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said the employees were meant to appear in court last week.

Nkosi said that with copper-cable theft, some cases do involve municipal officials.

“Unfortunately, the ones who the magistrate has made rulings on do not involve our officials.

“The cases are pending. About three of our employees were arrested for the same offences and were meant to appear in court - unfortunately, I do not have the latest on that.

“Once you are arrested by the police, we allow that process to precede without us getting involved, with the view that once that has been completed there will be disciplinary processes,” said Nkosi.

Last year Nkosi wrote a letter to the magistrate court’s chief magistrate to investigate what the municipality saw as a lenient sentence for two people, Thembelani Ngina and Buyiseni Mayapha, who appeared before court last year for copper-cable theft.

In the letter Nkosi said it was disappointing to learn that the sentence was either 12 months imprisonment or a R2 500 fine.

Nkosi requested the sentence be looked into, bearing in mind that cable theft and illegal electricity connection losses exceed a billion rand.

He also said that since 2013, more than 12 lives have been lost due to copper-cable theft and illegal electricity connections and a number of people have been seriously injured as a result.

“In light of the above, we appeal to you as the chief magistrate to investigate the sentencing of Ngina and Mayapha, as this lenient sentence surely does not send out a deterrent to thieves within the Msunduzi Municipality … so it is the responsibility of our courts to impose harsh sentences on criminals who have been found and/or pleaded guilty,” stated Nkosi in the letter

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