The accused was fined R20k for buying a car unlawfully

A man has been fined R20 000 for buying a car without ensuring that the seller was the lawful owner.

Jonathan Hein appeared in the Goodwood Regional Court on Monday, before Magistrate Constance Nziweni, and pleaded guilty to a charge of receiving a stolen vehicle without making sure that the person from whom he bought the car was in fact the owner.

He was fined R20 000 or 24 months imprisonment.

The magistrate agreed with prosecutor Daniel Cloete that buying a car without the necessary papers, as Hein had done, amounted to the purchase of stolen property.

She said such transactions were an encouragement to car thieves.

She said the law stipulated that an offender buying stolen property may be punished as if the offender had in fact stolen it.

At the request of defence attorney, Zirk Mackay, Hein was permitted to pay the fine in instalments - R5000 immediately, and the remaining R15 000 in three equal monthly