Mine workers jailed for dealing in explosives

LIMPOPO � The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) has welcomed the conviction of three mine workers by Seshego Regional Court yesterday.

During November 2008, the Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit apprehended Gobakwaoana Emmanuel Molokoane (33), Thapelo Tumela Kekana (34) and Peter Boy Tselane (37) during a takedown operation in Northam aimed at addressing people who were dealing with mine explosives.

During the operation he three suspects � former employees of Platina Mine � were found in possession of mine explosives, stop fuses, connector capped fuses, powergel blasting cartridges, reefmaster shocktube assemblies and dura fuse connectors capped fuses.

The accused were released on warning after their first appearance last year but the court ordered that they be placed in detention during their trial until their sentencing.

Molokoane was found guilty and sentenced 30 years direct imprisonment for dealing, supplying, possession and theft of explosives, Kekana was sentenced to 30 years on the same charges whilst Tselanyane received a 15 year sentence for theft of explosives.

The sentencing comes at the time when the province and the country is experiencing an upsurge in cash in transit heist and commercial explosives are reportedly being used in a commission of these serious crimes. It is hoped that the sentences will send a strong message that joint police efforts are yielding excellent results in ensuring that those are involved in the illegal supply of explosives go to jail for a very long time.

Source: South African Police Service

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