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Hit him in the pocket! Man who defaced ANC statue must pay

A 25-year-old man, found guilty of attempting to steal a statue of an ANC struggle icon, was sentenced to a fine of R15,000 or three years imprisonment, by the Bethal Magistrate's Court on Friday, the Govan Mbeki municipality said.

"[Corne van Tonder] was fined R15,000 or three years in prison of which R2000 or two years is suspended on condition that he is not found guilty of the same offence for the duration of the suspension," said spokesman Themba Motlhankana in a statement.

He was also ordered to pay for the statue's repair in three instalments. The cost of the repair was R214,000.

Van Tonder was arrested in Bethal in January when he tied a rope around the neck of a statue of Nokuthula Simelane, attached it to his bakkie and drove off. Damage was extensive.

Simelane was a struggle activist who was abducted by apartheid security forces. Her remains were never found.

The statue was valued at R1.2 million.

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