Move to acquit cop in cash heist case fails

2013-11-13 00:00

AN application to acquit Ladysmith policeman Siyabonga Mkwanyana at his trial in which he is charged with four other men for a 2009 KwaZulu-Natal cash heist, was yesterday refused by a high court judge.

Mkwanyana, Jerody Mthimunye (37), Philemon Nhleko (38), Ewat Ndubuko, and Zikethela Sokhela (30), are facing three charges of murder, one of attempted murder, two of robbery with aggravating circumstances and theft.

They have pleaded not guilty and raised alibi defences during the case, which has already spanned many months.

A sixth accused, Mandla Moloi, was freed recently after the state decided to withdraw the case against him.

The charges the accused face arise from an attack on a G4 security vehicle, which was deliberately rammed into with an allegedly stolen truck on the N11 between Newcastle and Ladysmith on August 30, 2009.

The robbers used explosives to blast open the back of the vehicle and access the money.

Security guards George van Tonder and Sibusiso Phakathi were killed, along with an alleged co-perpetrator of the heist, Ottoman Msimango.

Another security guard, Johannes Mokoena, survived the crash and explosion.

The gang escaped with R692 132 in a hijacked vehicle belonging to Deborah Shabalala, who came upon the robbery by chance while it was in progress.

Mkwanyana, who was a police sergeant stationed at Ladysmith at the time of the incident, is allegedly linked to the crimes through circumstantial evidence, including cellphone records.

These are alleged by the state to show he was in contact at critical times with an alleged mastermind of the heist, Xolani Mswane, who was killed during a subsequent shoot-out with police.

His attorney Ishi Khan yesterday brought an application before Judge Anton van Zyl and two assessors at the close of the state’s case, asking the court to discharge Mkwanyana without placing him on his defence.

The judge refused the application, saying at this stage the court was not satisfied that there is no possibility that he could be convicted.

The case is proceeding.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.