Museum employee grounded for stripping antique steam locomotives of copper

01 October 2021 - 15:39
The regional court in George has handed a former Outeniqua Transport Museum employee a 12-month prison sentence for stealing copper from displayed steam locomotives. Stock photo.
The regional court in George has handed a former Outeniqua Transport Museum employee a 12-month prison sentence for stealing copper from displayed steam locomotives. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/BELCHONOK

The regional court in George in the Western Cape has slapped a former museum employee with a 12-month prison sentence for stealing copper from locomotives displayed at the Outeniqua Transport Museum.

Nzaweka Tawule, 45, was sentenced on Thursday after his conviction for contravening the National Heritage Resources Act.

Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani said Tawule’s wheels came off when the museum noticed the theft.

“In December 2020, it was discovered that some of the steam locomotives on display at the Outeniqua Transport Museum in George were stolen and others damaged,” said Hani.

“An investigation was conducted which led to the arrest of Tawule in May. Thick-walled copper pipes were recovered in his possession. He was positively linked to the theft of some of the steam locomotives.”

Tawule was convicted for theft and malicious damage to property in August.

“Yesterday, September 30, Tawule was sentenced to two 12-month imprisonments which will run concurrently and a further 24-month suspended sentence. Furthermore, Tawule was declared unfit to possess a firearm.”

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