ATM bombing suspects appear in Howick court

2013-01-16 00:00

ELEVEN men made a brief appearance in the Howick Magistrate’s Court yesterday accused of three ATM bombings in the Midlands in which they allegedly got away with more than R500 000.

The men, aged between 20 and 40, made a brief appearance on eight counts that included attempted murder and theft.

The investigating officer and the prosecutor asked the media not to use the names and photographs of the accused as they were still to be identified by witnesses in an identity parade.

Ten men were added to the charge sheet of a 27-year-old man from Bergville. The 10 were arrested by the Hawks on Sunday as they were travelling in a minibus taxi coming from Johannesburg.

The Bergville accused was arrested on Thursday last week.

The men appeared in court under heavy police guard, some shackled.

They are charged with the attempted murder of Tafadwa Chapwanya, who lived across the road from the Nottingham Road FNB ATM. He was shot in the stomach while inside his house on September 28 last year.

For a separate incident during an ATM bombing in Howick on October 20, they are charged with the attempted murder of Alex Zondi, a passer-by who was allegedly shot in the leg while driving his car.

He lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree.

The charges of theft relate to the stealing of R241 000 from the ATM in Howick on November 20 last year, R153 000 from the Merrivale Absa ATM on October 20 and R214 000 on September 28 from an ATM in Nottingham Road.

They also face counts of malicious damage to property at Merrivale Spar, Howick Spar and at Nottingham Road.

They were all remanded in custody until their bail application.

They will be back in court on January 22 with their attorneys for a possible bail application.

Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said the men were are also linked to ATM bombings in Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

Police need to verify their addresses as they live in a hostel in Soweto.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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