A LERIBE man, Mohlephola Selebalo, was recently slapped with two year jail term for stealing communications cables and other equipment belonging to communications giant, Econet Telecom Lesotho.
Selebalo, who recently appeared before the Leribe Magistrates’ Court, will serve the prison term after failing to raise the M2000 fine had been ordered to pay to escape a custodial sentence.
He was found with the stolen Econet cables and other tools at his home in Leribe.
In an interview with the Sunday Express, Detective Police Constable Daniel Polake said they arrested Selebalo after a tip-off by a scrapyard owner that two men had attempted to sell him a manhole cover.
“The scrapyard owner was able to tip us off because of the awareness campaigns we held with the local communities after realising the high levels of theft of cables and other communications equipment,” Police Constable Polake said.
He said the two would-be sellers of the manhole cover, Hlabane Matona and Motara Molau told the police that they were given the cover by Selebalo in exchange for a hoe and a pickaxe.
Armed with this information, Police Constable Polake said they proceeded to Selebalo’s house where they found other equipment that had been stolen from Econet.
“Matona was released and turned into a state witness by the Leribe Magistrates’ Court while Molau remains in police custody after pleading not guilty and is awaiting his trial.”
On her part, Econet Public Relations Officer, Puleng Masoabi, bemoaned the theft of communications equipment. She said they had lost millions of maloti every year due to the theft of communications equipment.
She said this was the second case this year involving the theft of their equipment.
“It is sad that these people (criminal suspects) are often released and they go back to stealing our equipment and we wish the law was stricter so that they are given harsher sentences,” she said.