A man who admitted guilt to a charge of theft of railway sleepers was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by Alex Magistrates’ Court.
Edwardo Batista (41) a company truck driver, who along with an accomplice he had hired, stole the steel sleepers worth R140 000 in Mpumalanga last year. Police and Transnet investigators alerted to the theft, tracked the truck until it reached a scrap yard in Joburg.
The two were arrested before they sold the sleepers. The truck owner confirmed in court that Batista was his employee who occasionally transported consignments of goods to Mozambique, and was also authorised to hire out the truck in-between consignments with him as the driver.
The accomplice was acquitted.