By Thupeyo Muleya
A 30 yearold Zimbabwean man was yesterday jailed for an effective 15 years for smuggling explosives worth R200 000 into South Africa through Beitbridge Border Post.
Nqobizitha Ncube was arrested in September last year by the neighbouring country’s specialised crime unit, the Hawks.
He was in the company of two others, Marvellous Jore (42) and Musina Shoko (47).
Hawks spokesperson for Limpopo province Captain Matimba Maluleke said Ncube was convicted on his own plea of guilty by a Musina magistrate.
He said Jore and Shoko were acquitted due to lack of evidence.
“Ncube was arrested on the 26th of September 2018, in the company of Marvellous Jore (42), and Musina Shoko (47), when the vehicle they were travelling in was stopped and searched at the Beitbridge Port of entry by customs officials.
The trio was travelling from Zimbabwe to South Africa at the time. The resultant search uncovered a significant number of explosives with an estimated street value of approximately R200 000 hidden in the vehicle,” he said.
Capt Maluleke said following the trio’s interception, the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit was enlisted to conduct further investigations.
“A series of court appearances then followed for the trio after their bail application was successfully opposed by the investigating team,” said Capt Maluleke.
He said Ncube was convicted on his own plea of guilty for unlawful possession and smuggling of explosives.
The police spokesperson said the man was ordered to serve 15 years imprisonment for unlawful possession of explosives and an additional 15 years for smuggling explosives.
“Both sentences are to run concurrently,” he said.
The smuggling of explosives into South Africa through Beitbridge has become a perennial headache for border authorities.
The Chronicle understands that the explosives are used for ATM bombings or illegal mining activities in the neighbouring country. The Chronicle.