Accused ‘went on shopping spree’

2008-02-02 00:00

On the same day he is said to have taken part in a R100 000 armed robbery at BP Oasis garage at Cato Ridge, a Soweto man allegedly spent more than R5 000 on quality clothing, and bought R40 worth of gun oil at a Durban arms and ammunitions dealer, the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard yesterday.

The items were allegedly bought by Sydney Yende (31) in Umhlanga Rocks and Durban North on October 12, 2005.

The court heard that police recovered R6 000 in cash, allegedly from Yende’s suitcase, along with cash receipts revealing his alleged shopping spree.

There was also a brand-new Hugo Boss T-shirt, a pair of leather Italian lady’s sandals and a pair of Boss trousers, still bearing price tags.

The sandals were priced at R2 499,95, but after discount Yende allegedly paid R2 000 cash for them; the long-sleeved orange T-shirt cost R800 after discount, while the navy trousers were priced at R1 699.

The court heard evidence that an AK47 rifle and a handgun were found in a bedroom at the home of Yende’s co-accused.

Yende and Sipho Emmanuel Zitha (31) of Cato Manor, Durban, pleaded not guilty to the robbery and a variety of other charges.

Zitha admitted to escaping from custody on June 20, 2006. Yende pleaded not guilty to the same charge.

They were arrested at Zitha’s residence less than 12 hours after the robbery at BP Oasis.

Captain Anton Lockem of the Durban Organised Crime Unit, who took part in the arrests, said under cross-examination by the defence yesterday that it is not unusual for robbers to spend their loot soon after a robbery.

In his experience, the money is often spent on clothing, good perfume and women, he said in response to a question by Zitha’s lawyer, John Wills.

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