8 get 20 yrs for R46m heist

2009-06-27 07:35

Johannesburg - Eight of the nine men convicted of robbing an FNB depot in Selby of R46m were sentenced on Friday to 20 years imprisonment each, the SABC reported.

The ninth gang member will serve 22 years imprisonment because he fired shots at the police.

The robbery took place in November 2006, when the men stormed into an FNB depot armed with semi-automatic riffles.

A gun battle between the gang and the police ensued as police tried to stop them.

Passing judgment, presiding Judge Zukiswa Tshiqi said it was clear that the robbery had been well planned with the help of the bank's senior security guards.

The judge said the court was bound to protect the public from criminals such as the accused and that shooting at police officers was unacceptable.

The defence lawyers of the accused said they would appeal both the conviction and the sentencing, the SABC reported.