A Zimbabwean who was in the country illegally and was caught red-handed with pieces of railway track he had demolished and stolen was sentenced to six years in prison by the Pretoria Regional Court on Wednesday.
Twenty – Six-year-old Petros Vingiran was found guilty of stealing essential infrastructure.
National Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Lumka Mahajana said Vingiran had pleaded guilty to the crime and illegal entry into South Africa.
“On October 27, 2021, Vingiran was discovered on the Koedoespoort campus on a working railway line by security forces stealing R132,000 worth of locomotive stock belonging to Transnet. The guards alerted the police and he was arrested at the scene,” Mahajana said.
“Prosecutor Dru Ramsamy asked the court to impose a mandatory minimum sentence because of the impact this type of offense has had in the community . Money that should have been spent on community development is instead being spent on replacing damaged items and increasing security,” she added.
“Additionally, Ramsay said, “Vingiran had no regard for the laws of the country and, moreover, being an illegal immigrant.”
The NPA welcomed the ruling.
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