Capitec robbery relived

2015-04-24 00:00

A GUARD whose colleague was shot dead while delivering cash to an ATM at Capitec Bank in Richmond last ­January, said he heard a gunshot go off just after his colleague entered the bank with a cash box.

Moments later two men came running out of the bank with firearms.

One jumped into a Toyota Corolla which sped off.

The cash-in-transit van driver, ­Bhekumdeni Wilfred Dladla, of Group 4 Cash Services (G4S), briefly chased after the Corolla, before returning to the scene.

In line with standing orders he had remained in his van until help arrived, and did not alight to investigate.

Dladla gave evidence at the trial of Thulani Doncabe (40), Siboniso Mpanza (20) and Sandile Shongwe (34), who pleaded not guilty before Judge Rishi Seegobin to multiple charges arising from the botched heist.

A security guard, a policeman and three alleged gang members were shot dead during gun battles before and ­after the attempted robbery on January 27 last year.

Civilians were also caught up in the gunfire.

Those killed were G4S security guard, Sicelo Phungula, Richmond police sergeant Thamsanqa Zondi (who was also a Royal prince, being the son of Inkosi Nsikayezwe Zondi), and three alleged members of the robber gang — Andile Hlongwane, Siphithemba Mtshali and Senso Mtolo.

State advocate, Candy Kander told the court yesterday she will lead circumstantial evidence, as well as cellphone evidence, to prove the involvement of the three accused in the heist.

This includes evidence that Doncabe and Mpanza were arrested in a plantation at Phatheni, where officers of the Public Order Police Unit and Dog Unit had traced the robber gang to.

At that point the gang abandoned their getaway vehicles and fled in different directions.

One of the robbers, who had earlier been wounded, could not run and later died at the scene, while a second suspect who opened fire on a policeman, was shot dead.

The gang had failed to get away with any money as the dye pack in the cash box went off during the robbery attempt, emitting smoke and staining the notes with dye.

Kander said the prosecution will show that the heist was planned well in advance, including the theft of two cars to be used as getaway vehicles.

According to the state’s indictment the gang lay in wait at the bank and watched as Phungula entered the bank to deliver the cash box containing R300 000.

He was shot dead moments later as he opened the ATM vault door, which caused the dey pack to go off.

The robbers abandoned the ­damaged money, but took Phungula’s gun before fleeing the scene.

Sergeant Zondi was shot in the head when the assailants set up an ambush for a police bakkie from Richmond police station that had pursued them from the scene of the robbery.

As the police bakkie came around a bend, the gang allegedly opened fire on them, killing Zondi and wounding another officer, Constable Sbonelo Mpandla.

Apart from the murder and robbery charges, the accused are charged with attempted murder of 10 police officers, as well as attempted murder of Dladla, and five civilians: Hlengiwe Jama, Musa Phiri, Phillip Ndairo, Jones Kamowa King and Nonhle Eunice Khumalo.

The trial will continue next week.

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