Misunderstanding or theft?

31 July 2017  Read: 2755


A former scrap metal merchant from Tzaneen was arrested on Monday after police discovered a suspected stolen transformer on the back of her bakkie. Zelma Snyman (37), was arrested a day after she lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a ditch outside a farm in the Tarentaalrand area.

It is believed that the electrical transformer she was transporting at the time, was stolen off a farm in close proximity to the accident. Certain media reports stated that she was spotted driving around on the farm earlier that same evening, apparently with “her lights turned off”.

She appeared in the Tzaneen Magistrate’s court on Tuesday and was reportedly granted bail. The police have not yet provided any information on the charges against Snyman, or the investigations which are still underway.

Following her release on Tuesday, Snyman took to social media and warned her followers that crime does not pay. “Crime does not pay…even if one did not really cause as much drama as the newspapers are going to report…” [Translated]

Bulletin contacted Snyman on Thursday to hear her side of the story. According to her it could just be a misunderstanding.

“I received a phone call from a gentleman who said that he lived on a government farm and had an old transformer there which he wanted to sell for scrap. He accompanied me to the property and it appeared as though everything was legitimate as he knew the property very well,” she explained. “He said that he would provide me with an affidavit from the police once we reached Tzaneen, to prove that the sale of the transformer was above board. When we crashed my bakkie however, he jumped out the cab and ran off. That’s when I first suspected some foul play was at hand.”

Snyman said that she has in the meantime confirmed that the man who allegedly wanted to sell her the transformer, is in fact an employee on the farm, and apparently not the owner. “You know, I used to run a scrap metal operation and people know me for that line of work. It happens that every now and again someone will phone me to sell some scrap metal and I then help out. I honestly thought that this was above board. Now, we have to wait for the investigations to determine what actually transpired.”

At the time of going to print we received information that police had identified three suspects whom they believe to be linked to the incident.



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