Two Zimbabwean nationals jailed 165 years each in South Africa

June 04 2018Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe has been promoted to the position of Colonel with effect from June 1.PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

A Musina magistrate on Monday sentenced two Zimbabwean nationals to 165 years imprisonment each who had unleased a reign of terror on hitch hikers along the N1 highway in South Africa’s Limpopo province.

The duo of Farai Mabosvo (29) and Jane Mukutiri (38) sent behind bards after they were each convicted on 11 counts of robberies with aggravating circumstances and assaults.

They were slapped with 15 years for each count.

Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Genl Nneke Ledwaba has welcomed the sentences handed down by the Musina Regional Court to a man and woman convicted on multiple cases of robberies and assaults committed between 2014 and 2015.

They were sentenced to a combined 160 years’ imprisonment for 11 counts of robberies with aggravating circumstances and assault.

In a  statement, Police Spokesperson, Col Moatshe Ngoepe said the two accused, Farai Mabosvo (29) and Jane Mukutiri (38),  both Zimbabwean nationals, were linked to more than 10 cases with the same modus operandi.

On 26 November 2014 at 13:00 in the Morebeng policing area, the couple, travelling in in a grey sedan at the time, offered a lift to two men who were hitchhiking from Polokwane to Musina.

Along the way the driver diverted off the N1, and took the Ramokgopa road claiming that he was going to pick up someone else. The female passenger then produced a firearm, held the men at gunpoint and demanded their money. During the incident, the victims were robbed of their money and cell phones and then dropped off.

In another incident in Musina on 28 November 2014, the accused travelling in a navy blue luxury vehicle, gave a lift two two women at around 10:30. A few kilometers before Musina, the driver deviated off the N1 to a secluded area and the woman produced a firearm. The driver brought the vehicle to a halt and produced a knife. They robbed the two victims of their bags, around R50 000 cash, clothes and cell phones, dropped them off and drove off.

The third incident happened on 25 January in the Makhado policing precinct. Four victims, one a woman, accepted a lift from the two accused travelling in a sedan at around 21:30.

Along the way to Pretoria the driver brought the vehicle to a halt, produced a firearm and demanded the victims give him their money. During the incident one of the men grabbed the driver and a fight ensued, during which  the driver dropped the firearm, which was later discovered to be a toy gun, and managed to escape. The police were contacted and the female suspect was arrested. The male suspect was chased and apprehended, said Ngoepe.

These cases were allocated to Sergeant Qhinani Mgabini, the investigating officer attached to the Provincial Detective Unit, and his meticulous investigation led to the hefty jail terms handed down to the two accused, the police said.