Kranskop heist: man confesses

2010-07-22 00:00

A 24-YEAR-OLD man admitted in the high court yesterday that he was among a gang of 12 armed men who robbed KwaSiyabonga store in Kranskop earlier this month, resulting in injuries to five bystanders, including two children.

According to the indictment, the supermarket was also used as a paypoint for pensions and the area was very busy.

Khulekani Ntshalintshali of Mhlumayo, Ladysmith, pleaded guilty before Acting Judge Z.P. Nkosi to the attempted murders of Sanelisiwe Ngubane, Nonhlanhla Sabela, and Habiba Hanslot, Banela Hadebe (4) and Sindiswa Hlongwa (16) at KwaSiyabonga Butchery and Fresh Produce in Kranskop’s Main Street on July 2.

He also pleaded guilty to robbery with aggravating circumstances of a cellphone, cash, as well as a firearm and ammunition.

In a statement to the court, Ntshalintshali said he was approached by a friend, Mpoto Langa, who said he knew he had no money and offered him money if he participated in a robbery.

“I accepted his offer,”he said.

At Kranskop on July 2, all 12 gang members were armed with guns. Some entered KwaSiyabonga store, and robbed the tills at gunpoint.

Ntshalintshali said he heard gunfire outside and they ran out, where a shoot-out was in progress.

“I fired some shots in the air and [the gang] … fled from the scene without ascertaining if any bystanders had been injured.”

Ntshalintshali’s attorney, Ishi Khan, urged the court to take into account that his client had showed remorse and co-operated fully with the police, is prepared to help them convict his co-perpetrators, and that he was motivated by his need for money.

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