Robberies spreading like fire — magistrate

2013-04-12 00:00

INCIDENTS of robbery are “spreading throughout the country like a veld fire on a windy day in winter” a Pietermaritzburg regional magistrate said yesterday.

Magistrate Sibusiso Mngomezulu said house robberies had become an everyday reality and citizens lived in constant fear that they may be the next victims.

Mngomezulu was sentencing four men to terms of imprisonment ranging from an effective five to 10 years for their role in aggravated robberies in Scottsville, Clarendon and the Pietermaritzburg central business district in 2005.

The sentences took into account that three of the accused have already served nearly eight years pending the finalisation of the case.

Sibusiso Zondi (31) was sentenced to five years for robbing Craig Sadler of a cellphone, wallet and cash worth a total of R2 600 in Kitchener Road, Clarendon, on April 3, 2005. The assailants were armed with knives, screwdrivers and a brick.

Nkosiyezwe Phoswa (23), who was only 16 years old at the time of the offences, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for the robbery of Sadler and to three years imprisonment for robbing Janet Zondi at the Metropolitan Life building on January 14, 2005. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

Rooi Mabuza (33), who already has a previous conviction for robbery, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in connection with three robberies. The sentences were also ordered to run concurrently.

He was convicted of participating in the robbery of Sadler as well as a housebreaking and robbery at the home of Ray and Dawn Naude in Scottsville on April 9, 2005, and on Shaun McLennan — also in Scottsville — on April 10,2005. In the last two robberies the assailants wielded firearms.

Muzikayise Dlamini (25), who was on bail during the trial, was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for robbing Heather Walters of Somers Road, Clarendon, at gunpoint on April 7, 2005. The robbers took a hatchback car and various goods.

Mngomezulu said that in considering what sentences to impose, he took into account the time the accused had already been in custody; if the court simply disregarded this, it would amount to an injustice.

He added, however, that the accused werethemselves responsible for their “protracted and laborious trial” because they showed no remorse for their wrongdoing.

Instead they had claimed to be innocent and were not prepared to take responsibility for what they had done.

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