Six to appeal 128-year sentences

2012-11-15 00:00

SIX men will appeal their sentences in the Ramsgate high court today after being sentenced to more than 100 years in prison each. There are 28 charges against them, including murder, theft, robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder, malicious injury to property, unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Andile Bam, Khehla Themba Mhlongo, Mlungisi Nxumalo, Duncan Mduduzi Ngubane, Peterson Mthetheleli Koli and Ayanda Doyisa were found guilty in the Ramsgate high court on Monday of robbing a pension payout in Hibberdene in 2007.

Five people were killed during the robbery. Police shot two suspects later when in a chase. A police dog was injured during the incident.

Twelve people were victims of robbery with aggravating circumstances and 11 were victims of attempted murder.

In a statement commenting on the sentence yesterday, Colonel Vincent Mdunge said that on November 6, 2007, the six men stole a Nissan Sani

double-cab bakkie in Berea, Durban before going to Hibberdene, where they robbed a security vehicle of about R500 000 and assaulted pensioners and security guards with pistols.

During the robbery, they randomly fired shots at people waiting for their payouts, killing two guards and injuring an elderly woman who later died in hospital. They also stole two firearms from the guards before fleeing in the stolen vehicle.

While fleeing, they were confronted by police from Hibberdene and fired at them.

Their car collided with a tree and they abandoned it and ran to a kombi, which was waiting for them on the N2.

While driving on the N2, a car from the Umkomaas K9 Unit pursued them. The men fired on the police, injuring the officer and his dog.

A third police vehicle joined the chase and when it approached, five officers were injured in a gun battle.

The robbers tried to flee from the police and hid in the bushes, but were arrested. They were found in possession of two AK 47 rifles, two LM 5 semi-automatic rifles, two pistols and a bag containing R499 570 cash.

Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel said the men had not expressed remorse or offered to explain their actions.

“These are serious offences which involve the loss of life.

“They were not committed at the spur of the moment or because of a lapse of judgement due to drugs, anger or passion,” he said.

“The accused were heavily armed, as if they were embarking on a military mission,” said Ploos van Amstel, adding that the crimes were motivated by greed.

“This is a place where elderly people gathered to secure their monthly payments. Society has a right to get on with their daily lives without having to look over their shoulder for criminals,” he added.

Their 128-year terms comprise three life terms each for murder, six years each for theft, 15 years each for robbery with aggravating circumstances, 12 years each for attempted murder, two years each for malicious injury to property, 15 years each for illegal possession of firearms and three years each for possession of ammunition.

The sentences will run concurrently with the life sentences.

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