Cape Town - A man who stole military equipment, including assault rifles and hand grenades, from the Simon’s Town Naval Base has been sentenced to six years behind bars, the Hawks said on Thursday.
Duncan Gouvias, 22, was convicted and sentenced last week after pleading guilty in the Wynberg Regional Court to charges of burglary and contravening the Firearms Control Act.
His two co-accused - Dilian Sewkumar, 18, and Karabo Ramokgopa, 19 - are expected to plead on February 23.
Gouvias was handed a 43-year sentence for five charges. The sentences would run concurrently, meaning he received in effect a six-and-a-half-year sentence, Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha said.
Some of the jail terms were suspended for five years. He was prohibited from possessing a firearm or applying for a firearm licence during the suspension period. Should he be convicted of similar offences during the period, the suspended sentence would kick in.
Western Cape Hawks head General Nombuso Portia Khoza said the accused had "cooked their own goose" when they targeted the naval base, a National Key Point, in August last year.
"It cannot be business as usual when young people with their whole future ahead of them get involved in such senseless acts. We are extremely grateful to the team for swiftly recovering the weapons before innocent lives could be lost," Khoza said.