Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
A 44-year-old Zimbabwean man has been jailed for 15 years by a Musina Magistrate Court in South Africa for smuggling explosives worth R110 000 into the neighbouring country.
Wilfred Nhamo Motsi was arrested by the specialised police unit, the Hawks at Beitbridge Border Post on May 30 last year.
Since then he, has been languishing in remand prison.
Hawks spokesperson for Limpopo province, Captain Matimba Maluleke confirmed the sentence on Friday morning.
“Although serious and violent crimes are continuing to be recorded in the province, the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) members are ensuring that all those who are involved are arrested and locked away for a very long time,” he said.
“This is attested by the conviction of a Zimbabwean national, Motsi Wilfred Nhamo (44), who was sentenced to 15 years direct imprisonment for smuggling explosives.
“On 30 May 2021 members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation received a tip off about a person who was smuggling explosives from Zimbabwe to South Africa.”
Capt Maluleke said the Hawks detectives assisted by the Tactical Response Team and Musina VISPOL members conducted an undercover operation.
He said during the process, Motsi who matched the description of the suspect was spotted walking at Beitbridge Port of Entry carrying his luggage.
The man was stopped, searched and the team recovered detonators worth R110 000-00 in his luggage.
“Motsi was arrested and kept in police custody until he was convicted and sentenced by the Musina Magistrate’s Court on 17 May 2022,” he said.
The smuggling of explosives into South Africa and Zimbabwe is rife with over 20 people having been arrested in the last 12 months.
It is alleged that the explosives are used for ATM bombings and illegal mining activities around Free State and Gauteng provinces.