A bleak Christmas for criminals

Monday, December 23, 2019

A Mpumalanga man is to spend Christmas behind bars after he was sentenced to 29-years in prison for stock theft, said the Hawks on Monday.

The Ermelo Magistrate's Court on Friday sentenced 52-year-old Zacharia Dube for his role in the theft of 21 cattle in 2015.

The Provincial Head of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, Major General Zodwa Mokoena, welcomed the conviction adding that stock theft a problem in Mpumalanga.

“The success has confirmed beyond any doubt, the professionalism and dedication of both the National Prosecuting Authority and the investigators for job well done.  The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) welcomes the sentence as it will serve as a serious deterrence to the convicted criminals and would-be stock thieves," she said.

Dube together with Elijah Mabasa and a third accomplice were caught red-handed stealing cattle valued at R310 000 at a Brakfontein farm just outside Secunda. 

This was after the farming community complained to the Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma of a stock theft syndicate in the area.

Lieutenant General Zuma tasked the provincial Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation to investigate the complaints.

During the trial accused number three Christopher Kunene Dube’s case was withdrawn after he turned state witness while Mabasa pleaded guilty and was slapped with a seven year direct imprisonment. 

Mokoena further cautioned the community about incidents of stock theft in the province during the festive season. 

Law catches up with Limpopo fraudster

Meanwhile the long arm of the law also led to the sentencing of a fraudster in Limpopo.

The Hawks welcomed the sentencing of bank fraudster Mohamed Luqman Aladi Bello.

The 50-year old was sentenced in the Mankweng Regional Court on Thursday following the discovery of funds siphoned from the Potgietersrust Reformed Church bank account in 2017.

The case of fraud was opened and transferred to the Hawks for further investigations. The transfer of funds into different bank accounts led to Bello’s arrest.

Bello was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for theft with no option of a fine and another 12 years imprisonment for fraud also with no option of a fine.

Both sentences will run concurrently.

“We are not going to allow unscrupulous criminals to reap where they did not sow. We will use everything at our disposal to bring those who are caught on the wrong side of the law to book so that justice can prevail,” said acting Provincial Head, Brigadier Desmond Alexander.-SAnews.gov.za