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Duo jailed for stealing Econet cable

Nthatuoa Koeshe

Maseru

THE Maseru Magistrates Court on 25 July 2019 sentenced two men to six years imprisonment each after they were found guilty of stealing a copper cable from Econet’s Ha-Thetsane storage facility.

Tšolo Tšolo (31) and Thabiso Marakabi (19) worked for a cleaning company which was recently hired by Econet last month.

It was the state’s case that the duo was seen cutting the wire by some Econet employees sometime last month and reported them to the authorities.

They were then arrested on 9 July and were dragged before the Maseru Magistrates’ Court on 19 July where they initially asked for a chance to bring their lawyers.

The case was eventually postponed to 25 July where they then pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 6 years in prison. Although they had an option to each pay M6000 fine, they failed to raise the amount.

The police said the stolen cables were sold at Maseru scrap yard.

In an unrelated case, a 40-year-old man was recently caught by the community cutting two telephone poles in Ha-Foso. He was also found in possession of 500 metres of copper cables.

The community took him to Mabote Police Station. The police said the man will appear in court once the police complete their investigations.

Although the man is from Ha-Leburu in Peka, Leribe, he is a builder and often travels around the country.

Econet public relations officer Puleng Masoabi said the recent arrests as progress towards the eradication of vandalism of their infrastructure. She expressed gratitude to the police and the communities for their concerted efforts to protect the infrastructure.

“We are thankful for the help that we have been getting and we plead with the courts to give the offenders the sentences that they deserve,” Ms Masoabi said.

In an unrelated matter, a 45-year-old Calvary Church priest, Tšepo Lipholo and his 40-year-old wife ‘Mathapelo Lipholo, from Qoaling in Maseru on 24 July remanded out of custody on M200 bail each after appearing in court for falsely claiming ownership of two pieces of land as theirs.

The land is in fact owned by the Maseru City Council and the duo’s claims were in contravention of the 2010 Land Act. The two are now expected back in court tomorrow.

The police allege that Mr Lipholo on an unknown date wrote a family letter claiming ownership of two sites in Likotsi in Ha-Tsiane.

The letters were stamped by the area chief who also instructed that the family should get services from the Maseru City Council.

The council however, realised that it instead owned the sites in question and are meant for a waste transfer station. The council then reported to the police who arrested the two on 22 July.

The police say they are now awaiting the state’s instruction on what to do with the chief.

In another unrelated matter, a security guard was burnt to death in Qeme on 24 July at a car workshop after lighting a heater in the car to keep warm.

Reports show that at around 8:30pm, neighbors saw a fire at the workshop and called the police who arrived when the man had already died.

Leribe

Three female workers at Jonsson factory in Maputsoe are lucky to be free after they were recently arraigned before the courts for stealing from their employer.

Mookho Makobeng (26), a human resources clerk from Ha-Mokati, finance clerk Amelia Monase (30) from Mafeteng and ‘Mapaseka Basele (35) from Makhoakhoeng Ha-Seboche appeared before the Leribe Magistrates Court on 24 July.

They were initially each sentenced to eight years in prison with an option to each pay M10 000 fine.

However, the lenient court suspended half of the fine and the trio managed to each raise M5000 and were released.

According to the police, the trio hatched a plan to steal the money by adding M15 000 to Ms Basele’s M746 salary. When the money reflected in her account, they then withdrew it and shared among themselves.

The police said Ms Basele and Ms Makobeng each got M3000 while Ms Monase kept M9000 for herself.

Although the incident happened on 10 July, the trio was only arrested on 22 July.

The police said they have since repossessed everything purchased using the money while M8 260 has been recovered.

In an unrelated matter, a six-year-old boy from Ha-Mochoka in Teyateyaneng fell into a septic tank and died on 28 July.

The police say the boy stepped onto a small corrugated iron sheet which covered the septic tank and fell inside. Despite the community rushing to assist him, he had already died by the time they arrived.

Mokhotlong

The Mokhotlong Magistrates’ Court on 25 July slapped a 28-year-old Tloa re bue, Mokhotlong man with 10 years’ imprisonment for raping a 79-year-old woman.

The police said the man broke into the woman’s house and raped her once. It is alleged that during the act, the man claimed that he wanted to marry the old woman. However, the court slapped him with a 10-year prison term.

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