FIVE accused, linked to a cash-in-transit robbery that took place in Ixopo in 2011, have been appearing in the Ramsgate High Court since Monday last week.
Edward Sibusiso Mtambo (37), Phumlani Nicholas Khathide (25), Christopher Holisizwe Mthembu (31), Sibusiso Ndaba (33) and Nkosinathi Ndovela (35) are facing charges of theft, robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition. Accused number six is believed to have died since his arrest.
According to the indictment, the ‘robbers’ conspired to rob a security vehicle which was to deliver cash to the automatic teller machines (ATMs) at the Capitec Bank in Ixopo. Prior to the robbery they apparently stole a vehicle from Durban and armed themselves with a number of firearms.
On Thursday, July 28, when the armoured vehicle did its rounds in Ixopo, the robbers allegedly accosted the guard carrying the canisters containing cash at gunpoint and took his service firearm.
The men boarded a getaway vehicle and fled town with canisters containing R608 000 in cash. The vehicle was found abandoned a short distance out of Ixopo. Police later recovered the five firearms, including an AK 47 machine rifle and the ammunition. The two pistols, both capable of semi-automatic fire, had their serial numbers expunged.
On Tuesday this week, Lieutenant-Colonel Bhekani Nala, who read Ndaba’s statement in court, said that when Ndaba drew his pistol to order the security guard to give him the money boxes, the security guard got such a fright he fell onto the ground. After they fled with the money they regrouped at his home in Umgababa, and he took R63 000 in cash, before they went their separate ways.
Lt-Col Nala was later cross-examined by Advocate MG Magwanya in the witness box.