Reports from South Africa indicate that a 44-year old Zimbabwean man who illegally smuggled explosives into the Sadc economic powerhouse will now spend the next 15 years behind bars after he was convicted of the crime.

The man, Wilfred Motsi Nhamo was sentenced at the Musina Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

According to Hawks spokesperson, Captain Matimba Maluleke, Nhamo was arrested on May 30 last year at Beitbridge following information that he was smuggling explosives from Zimbabwe into South Africa.

“On 30 May, 2021, members of the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation received a tip-off about a person smuggling explosives from Zimbabwe into South Africa,” said Captain Maluleke.

According to Captain Maluleke, the Hawks conducted an undercover operation, with the assistance of the Tactical Response Team and Musina Vispol members.

“The suspect, matching the description, was spotted walking at the Beitbridge port of entry carrying luggage. He was stopped, searched and the team found detonators worth R110 000.

“Nhamo was arrested and kept in police custody until he was convicted and sentenced by the Musina Magistrate’s Court today (Tuesday),” he said.

In another case, two men were also arrested for illegal mining in Barberton Tuesday this week.

According to the Hawks, “information was received and followed up about people who were manufacturing gold-bearing materials in Barberton Verlam Section”.

Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said:

“A search and seizure warrant was authorised by the court and it was executed hence the arrest. On arrival at the identified place, the two suspects were arrested while their accomplices managed to evade arrest”.