Man given 10 years for throwing rock off N1 bridge

A man who threw a rock off a bridge over the N1 highway near Pretoria and caused an accident was sentenced to 10 years in jail, with four suspended.

Alpheus Qwabe was convicted in the Pretoria Regional Court on charges of attempted murder, Beeld reported today.

He was sentenced yesterday.

On the evening of May 9 2010, Qwabe threw a large rock on to Paulo Franzao’s car while he was driving on the N1 under the Church Street bridge near the Botanical Gardens.

Franzao survived, but his car was so badly damaged that he could not continue his journey.

Qwabe was then caught by neighbourhood watch members.

Another motorist had died two weeks earlier after being hit by a rock thrown from the same bridge.

Prosecutor Ashwin Ramnarain told the court: “The accused did it for his own sadistic pleasure; to hurt people.”

He said if the rock had been dropped a fraction of a second later, it may not have landed under Franzao’s car, and he would probably have been killed.

During sentencing proceedings, Magistrate Solomon Mkhabela found that Qwabe had acted with premeditation, and would have known that he might cause someone’s death.

“But it has not bothered him.”

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