Long term in Cascades case

2008-09-09 00:00

CASH-in-transit heists are having a crippling effect on the economy.

This was highlighted by Durban High Court Judge Kate Pillay during sentencing of Phumlani Musawenkosi Zamisa, one of the men involved in a heist at Pietermaritzburg’s Cascades Centre in 2006.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, on top of a 15-year sentence he is serving for a separate armed robbery charge.

Pillay ordered the sentences should not run concurrently.

Zamisa was in a gang that attacked two Coin Security guards collecting money on April 18, 2006. The gang escaped in a minibus, but police caught them. One was injured and died shortly afterwards. Zamisa was found with the cashbox and an AK47 rifle.

Zamisa, a father of six from Inanda, was found guilty on one count of armed robbery, two of attempted murder, one of possession of an unlicensed firearm, one of possessing a prohibited firearm and one of possession of ammunition. He was acquitted of two counts of theft of a motor vehicle.

Zamisa was a taxi operator and owned a lucrative towing and recovery business.

During sentencing, Pillay told Zamisa, who stood in the dock with his head bowed: “Your actions were fuelled by nothing more than greed. You carried out a brazen robbery in a shopping centre using high-calibre weapons, like taking candy from a baby,” she said.

The court heard that Zamisa had a list of previous convictions dating back to 1992.

“You have a formidable list of previous convictions, some are more than 10 years old,” said Pillay.

His application for leave to appeal was dismissed.

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