The Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has welcomed the 12-year prison sentence imposed on a former employee at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
The Scottburgh Regional Court in KwaZulu-Natal found Sphiwe Mngadi guilty of cable theft, more than four years after he was caught in possession of copper cables worth R1 million. The court also found Mngadi guilty of tampering/destroying of essential infrastructure in the Mkhomazi area.
PRASA says though the sentence is below the prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, it does send a strong message to some of our rogue employees who think they can continue stealing critical rail infrastructure unabated with no consequences.
“We welcome the NPA’s commitment to put more focus on copper cable theft given the critical role that passenger rail plays in our economy. Only a partnership between our law enforcement agencies will we be able to fight cable theft,” the agency said of the sentence.
MBALULA HAILS PRASA FOR GETTING RID OF CORRUPT OFFICIALS
Fikile Mbalula reckons the sentencing imposed on Mngadi will send a strong message to others who may also be considering destroying or stealing PRASA infrastructure. Mbalula has also said they are hard at work in clamping down on syndicates that target public infrastructure.
Delivering this year’s Budget Vote speech of the Department, Mbalula reiterated his call for the ban of scrap metal exports. The Department of Transport is working closely with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition towards ensuring that such a ban becomes a reality.
“We are intensifying our efforts within the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to ensure that we eliminate syndicates hellbent on destroying public infrastructure. It is promising to see PRASA’s commitment to rid itself of corrupt officials who work to collapse this important agency bearing fruits. The sentencing of this former PRASA employee will serve as a deterrent to many who might have similar corrupt intentions,”Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula
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