Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
A Musina magistrate on Monday sentenced two Zimbabweans who had unleashed a reign of terror on hitchhikers along the N1 Highway in South Africa’s Limpopo Province to 165 years in prison each.
The duo of Farai Mabosvo (29) and Jane Mukutiri (38) were each convicted of 11 counts of robberies with aggravating circumstances and assaults.
They were slapped with 15-year-jail terms for each count.
Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said Mabosvo and Mukutiri were arrested in connection with robberies committed between 2014 and 2015.
He said the first incident occurred in the Morebeng policing area on November 26, 2014 at about 1pm.
“The couple was travelling in a grey Toyota Yaris when they offered a lift to two men who were hitchhiking from Polokwane to Musina along the N1 Highway,” said Col Ngoepe.
“Along the way, Mabosvo took the Ramokgopa Road, claiming that he was going to pick up someone whom they were travelling with to Musina.
Mukutiri produced a firearm, pointed it at them and demanded money.
“Mabosvo quickly stopped the vehicle and searched all the victims and robbed them of money and cellphones. They then left them in the bush.”
Col Ngoepe said in another incident which occurred on November 28, 2014 at about 10:30am, Mabosvo and Mukutiri were travelling in a navy blue BMW along the N1 Highway when they picked up two ladies who were on their way to Musina town.
He said a few kilometres before the town, Mabosvo turned off the N1 Highway towards a secluded place without saying anything.
Mukutiri then produced a gun and pointed it at the two ladies, while Mabosvo stopped the car and produced a knife.
“The accused persons then took the complainants’ bags containing R50 000 cash, clothes and cellphones,” said Col Ngoepe.
“They later dropped them and drove off.”
Col Ngoepe said the duo was arrested after they were overpowered while trying to rob four other victims on January 25, 2015.
Limpopo’s Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Nneke Ledwaba welcomed the imprisonment of the duo.
He said the convictions will encourage them to do more to ensure the safety of all people within the province.