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Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, Provincial Commissioner of the
SAPS in Mpumalanga, has applauded two separate sentences issued on two culprits
who targeted companies in Standerton.
On Wednesday, 21 June 2023, the Standerton Regional Court sentenced Wiseman
Thulani Mbatha (44) for business robbery, while the same court condemned
Magondwane Alfred Motha (46) for tampering with important infrastructure.
The court heard how on 15 February 2020 two armed suspects entered a certain retail
chain store and staged a robbery. They robbed the shop of mobile phones as well as an
undisclosed amount of cash before they fled the scene using a white Toyota Etios as a
The Standerton Police Department was notified of the robbery, and the suspect vehicle
was recognized by the members, resulting in a chase. The vehicle with two occupants
was eventually stopped at Leslie, and two suspects were apprehended. Cell phones
recovered inside the aforementioned car during their apprehension were later positively
identified by the owners as belonging to the retail establishment looted by the accused.
Mbatha was one of two men detained.
The two appeared in court however along the way, the Standerton Regional Court
acquitted the 42-year-old man who was arrested with Mbatha, which left him alone in
the box to face the music. The court eventually sentenced Wisemen Mbatha to 15 years
imprisonment for the business robbery. He was further declared unfit to possess a
The court heard how Motha was caught by security personnel on June 21, 2022, while
he was busily smashing, cutting, and removing copper wires and irons from the electric
distribution board that distributes energy to the soccer field and the other buildings. This
led to Motha’s imprisonment. The guards who were stationed to protect the property
informed Standerton SAPS, who responded appropriately. After that, Motha was
detained and accused of tampering with critical infrastructure.
He made his first court appearance at the Standerton Magistrate’s Court on 23 June
2022 and he was convicted and sentenced on the same day (21 June 2023) to five
years imprisonment with three (03) years suspended for five (05) years. The accused
was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.