By Liz Dlodlo
A 27 year old Zimbabwean arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) early this year for stealing diesel from a Transnet fuel pipeline has been locked behind bars for 13 years in South Africa.
Batsirai Chimutanga (27) was convicted and sentenced to 13 years direct imprisonment for theft of diesel and tempering with essential infrastructure by the Vereeniging Magistrates Court on Friday.
Hawks spokesperson, Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said the man was arrested in March this year by the Serious Organised Crime Investigation at a maize farm in Kliprivier, in the Vaal Rand.
However, he could not disclose the exact amount of diesel was stolen by Chimutanga.
“The investigation team had received intelligence about unknown men who were seen tampering with the Transnet fuel pipeline at Greenland maize farm.
On arrival, Chimutanga was apprehended whilst driving a white Renault truck carrying a number of containers laden with the stolen diesel,” said Captain Mulamu.
Following Chimutanga’s arrest, the truck and the stolen diesel worth R300 000 were seized.
The official said the accused was left with 10 years to serve when three years were suspended for five years.
Captain Mulamu said the Asset Forfeiture was now processing a preservation order to forfeit the truck used to carry the stolen fuel.