Cable thieves caged

Cable thieves caged

MASERU – TWO men have been sentenced to 10 years in prison or a fine of M10 000 each for stealing Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) cables.
Lekhanya Khemane and Mabote Mokhabela were found guilty of theft of the cables and vandalizing LEC property in Nazareth, at the foot of Machache Mountain in rural Maseru district.

Magistrate ’Makopano Rantšo on Monday said the sentence should act as a deterrent for others who might be tempted to engage in similar acts.
Begging for leniency, the two men said they did not intentionally commit the crime but were driven by joblessness.

She said although both men were first offenders “justice has to be delivered as a lesson to others that no one should live by stealing from others”.
“Above all these, LEC is making people’s life easier by connecting them to electricity and at a high cost then these accused persons just decide to steal those cables,” she said.

Chief prosecutor Gcinumizi Tshabalala said LEC connected electricity in the village of Nazareth to the house of one Ntsoaki using a 30-metre cable from the main electricity pole.
The two men cut and stole the cable, Tshabalala said.

He said the accused did not work for LEC and therefore did not have any right to interfere with electricity infrastructure.
“They took the cables and on the 17th of November this year, they were travelling with a vehicle bearing RC 717 number plate. The car was stopped and searched by the police,” he said.

Tshabalala said the cables were found in the car and confiscated by the police. He said LEC was losing a lot of money due to such thefts and the courts should send a clear message that such crimes are punishable by lengthy jail time. “The accused have to be punished for the inconvenience they have caused to both the LEC and its client,” Tshabalala said.

Itumeleng Khoete

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