No bail for torture robbery accused

2012-07-04 00:00

TWO men alleged to have taken part in the armed robbery and torture of six people, including a toddler, at Albert Falls on February 26, have been denied bail by a magistrate at New Hanover.

Factors taken into account by magistrate Rod Stewart when denying bail to Mvusi Dlamini and Lucky Mbonambi, included the alleged strength of the state’s case against them, the fact that they might evade trial, the possible threat to state witnesses, as well as the degree of violence involved in the robbery of the victims.

A third accused in the case, Siyabonga Mchunu, did not apply for bail. The case was adjourned to July 20 for further investigation.

According to the evidence by investigating officer Swami Pillay, Dlamini was the person who was identified by witnesses after his arrest, as having poured boiling water from a kettle over some of the victims, including a toddler, while demanding more money during the incident.

Pillay testified that Dlamini’s face would be imprinted in the victims’ minds because of what he allegedly did.

State prosecutor J.K. Maphumulo said according to the evidence there was “clear identification” (by witnesses) of both the accused who had applied for bail. They were also allegedly captured on CCTV footage at places where bank cards that had been stolen during the robbery were used.

The accused are charged with the robbery with aggravating circumstances of members of the Lakhi and Valli families at Albert Falls on the night of February 26, as well as assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The charge sheet alleges that they robbed Ahmed Lakhi of goods worth R52 000, including cash, jewellery, a firearm and a petrol card. On the same date, they also robbed Firoza Valli of valuables, including R40 000 cash and a wedding ring worth R25 000.

They are also charged with fraud for purchasing petrol with the stolen petrol card, unlawful possession of six live rounds of .45 ammunition and a .45 pistol, as well as the theft of a Toyota Run-X car at Morningside in Durban on January 23. The accused have denied the allegations.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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