Driver gets off lightly after being caught with stolen truck

2016-02-10 21:13
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Mbombela - A Gauteng truck driver who was caught driving a stolen John Deere truck worth R1.7m was given a light sentence after begging for mercy in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Wednesday.

Nicolas Masoka, 32, was sentenced to five years' jail, suspended for five years, on condition that he not be convicted of a similar offence. 

He was arrested in Mbombela on October 15 last year after he was found transporting goods using the stolen truck.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of a stolen vehicle. He told the court a man called John hired him as a part-time driver in Johannesburg.

“The man, after I passed all the driving tests, called me. He said one of his drivers was sick and gave me the truck keys to transport some goods to Nelspruit [Mbombela]. On arrival I was arrested by police,” Masoka had testified.

He gave police all information about his employer, but he was nowhere to be found. He was promised R150 per hour for a 10-hour drive, but was never paid.

"I do not have money as I am no longer employed. I beg for forgiveness from the court and promise that next time I will be extra careful and will not be on the wrong side of the law,” he said.

Magistrate Shelly Msibi said the court was satisfied that he pleaded guilty and showed remorse.

“You are found guilty as charged. Such cases are prevalent in the region. In many cases drivers get caught while trying to smuggle goods through the border posts into neighbouring countries,” she said.

Most of the time only the drivers, and not the truck thieves, were caught, she said.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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