Man caught with stolen truck jailed

2013-04-10 21:38

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Mbombela - The Nelspruit Regional Court on Wednesday sentenced a Mozambican national to two years in jail for trying to smuggle a stolen truck out of South Africa.

A Sapa correspondent reported that Zwelile Nqakula, 36, pleaded guilty to a charge of being in possession of the stolen truck, worth R2.5m.

Magistrate Shirley Msibi gave him the option of a R20 000 fine.

Nqakula was arrested while trying to smuggle a truck into Mozambique from South Africa at the Lebombo border on 19 February.

He told the court a company hired him a week after he obtained his driver's licence, for a R3 000 monthly salary.

"I was hired by a company in Maputo to come into South Africa and collect the truck. I was on their payroll for two months and did not know the truck I was driving was stolen property," Nqakula testified.

State prosecutor Michael Mazibuko told the court Nqakula worked for a Mozambican syndicate linked to the armed robbery of the truck.

He said the driver was hijacked in Kliprivier, Gauteng, on 18 February, a day before Nqakula's arrest.

"According to the Hawks, three armed men held the driver at gunpoint, locked him at the back of the truck and drove with him and later dropped him in a secluded area.

"There were no physical injuries reported by the driver and he said he could only identify one suspect, which is not the accused [Nqakula]," Mazibuko said.

Mazibuko told the court Nqakula, being new in the transport industry, did not follow procedure to determine the truck's legality and status before receiving it.

"The truck has been handed back to its rightful owner and investigations by the Hawks and Mozambican police are continuing."

Msibi said although there was no proof Nqakula was part of the group that stole the truck, he was found in possession of it.

"In future, be careful not to be used by criminals," she warned him.

Read more on:    hawks  |  mbombela  |  mozambique  |  southern africa

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