Minister Grant welcomes 15 year conviction for cable thief
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
The 15 year sentencing of convicted cable thief Fortune Nkomo is a step in the right direction in our fight against criminals who threaten the provision of safe and reliable public transport for commuters in the Western Cape.
For years, we have been calling for arrests, convictions, and stiff sentences for criminals who target the rail network. This is the type of consequence-driven action from our criminal justice system that we believe will serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders.
Nkomo received 10 years for cable theft of train roof cables with an estimated value of R250 000 and another 5 years for malicious damage to property.
I must congratulate Metrorail Regional Manager, Richard Walker, their Metrorail Protection Services Department, SAPS Rapid Rail Response team, law enforcement agencies, and contracted security companies for the collaborative approach that they have taken in tackling the crisis of cable theft.
We must continue to work together - government agencies and communities alike - to ensure that criminal elements are subjected to the full might of the law, and are prevented from holding commuters ransom through their attacks.
I urge members of the public to continue reporting criminal activities to the authorities so that criminals like Mr Nkomo can be placed behind bars.