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Mpumalanga man gets 11 years in jail for stealing petrol from Transnet pipeline

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A Mpumalanga court has sentenced a man to 11 years in prison after he entered a plea bargain with the state following his conviction on a series of petrol theft-related charges.

Bongani Mzizi was handed the hefty sentence after the Evander regional court found him guilty of tampering with essential infrastructure, theft of petrol from a pipeline and possession of suspected stolen petrol.

“Mzizi’s sentencing comes after an incident on July 2 2022 when a drop in pressure on the pipeline was noticed and security officers went to investigate,” said Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Capt Dineo Sekgotodi.

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The officers noticed a fuel tanker coming from the area of the pressure drop and unsuccessfully attempted to stop it.

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Police gave chase until they got to Springs where the driver of the tanker and crew attempted to escape.

“Security officers apprehended two men with the police’s assistance and the tanker was found [loaded with] petrol,” Sekgotodi said.

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A preliminary investigation matched the sample from the tanker to that at the crime scene and Mzizi and his co-accused Harold Mabunda were arrested, she said.

The case against Mabunda was remanded to August 18 for trial in the same court.

Hawks head in Mpumalanga Maj-Gen Nicholas Gerber lauded the investigation team for ensuring Mzizi was brought to book.

“Be steadfast on your endeavours as the second accused is still to be served his just desserts,” he said.

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