Theft at cellphone tower punished

A Bloemfontein man found guilty of the theft of cellphone tower batteries has been sentenced to five years im­prisonment by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.

Calistus Molebatsi (39), a resident of Bergman, Bloemfontein, was sentenced on 24 July.

He was convicted and sentenced following the successful prosecution based on the evidence presented in court.

The sentence has been suspended for five years.

An employee of the affected cellphone company opened a case of theft after finding the tower had been tampered with and that there was damage to the infrastructure.

He reportedly discovered the crime in October 2017.

The batteries were stolen at the tower at Monument Office in Generaal De Wet, Bloemfontein.

Const. Wendy Nkabi, Parkweg police spokesperson, said the informant had stated that there had been a break-in at the tower, where eight batteries worth R40 000 had been stolen.

She said intensive investigation led to the arrest of Molebatsi days after the incident had been reported.