Capitec heist trial hears of pursuit, shootings

2015-05-11 07:57
(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A POLICE dog tracked down three suspects who fled into a sugar cane field in the Phatheni area in the wake of the attempted cash heist at Capi­tec bank in Richmond last January, the high court heard on Friday.

One suspect was shot and wounded by police after he attempted to shoot the dog (Simba) and its ­handler, Warrant Officer Reeno ­Dayaram.

The man, identified as Senzo Mtolo, died later in an ambulance en route to hospital.

Dayaram identified the other two suspects found hiding in the sugar cane, as two of the of the accused before court — Thulani Doncabe (40) of Umlazi and Siboniso Mpanza (20) of KwaMashu.

Dayaram said he’d searched unsuccessfully for a fourth suspect who was seen fleeing into the cane field, but had to abandon the search as his dog had been unable to pick up his scent.

The court was told that another gang member — identified in court only by the name “Bhokobhoko” — was arrested in the same area whilst “leaning” against the gang’s getaway bakkie and nursing a gunshot wound to his leg.

The bakkie was parked in the middle of the road at the point where the other attackers were seen fleeing into the sugar cane.”

The court heard “Bhokobhoko” died at the scene where he was held under police guard.

Richmond detective Sergeant Sandile Magubane told the court that as he turned off onto the gravel road in the Patheni area he saw the suspects’ bakkie stop up ahead and four of the occupants jump out and flee.

He rushed to the scene, stopping en route to pick up some members of the Public Order Policing Unit.

They found the bakkie parked in the road with the doors standing open, whilst Bhokobhoko leaned against the vehicle.

Magubane said he’d recognised Bhokobhoko from photographs he’d seen of wanted suspects when he was working on various police task teams.

He ordered him to lie on the ground and handcuffed him.

He then inspected the vehicle, found blood on the tailgate and an AK47 rifle with a magazine and a AK47 cartridges in the bin.

Magubane said he’d given the dog unit members a description of the clothing worn by the four suspects who ran into the sugar cane. Dayaram, together with his dog, and other colleagues immediately set off in pursuit.

Dayaram testified that before entering the sugar cane plantation he’d shouted a warning to anyone hiding there to come out, but to no avail.

His dog located the first suspect about 100 metres inside the dense sugar cane plantation. The man screamed as he was bitten, stood up and fired a shot at the police dog but missed.

“I pulled my dog back and the suspect then fired one shot in my direction,” said Dayaram.

He said he and a colleague had returned fire and the suspect fell to the ground. The police recovered his Z88 pistol and a yellow hat with a cellphone in it.

This was the suspect, who later died, who was identified as Senzo Mtolo.

Dayaram said he continued searching and his dog then apprehended Mpanza who was “lying low” in the sugar cane. After Mpanza was handcuffed and handed over to colleagues he’d resumed tracking more suspects.

“I came out of the sugar cane and my dog pulled me towards the river … there he apprehended a suspect [Doncabe] lying in the bush,” he said.

Dayaram said both Doncabe and Mpanza had been bitten by his dog during the course of their arrests.

The two men — who are on trial together with a third accused, Sandile Shongwe — have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.

They are charged with five counts of murder (including three of their own gang), as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances, theft and attempted murder arising from the incident in the late afternoon of­ January 27 last year.

The robbers shot dead G4S security guard, Sicelo Phungula at the scene at the bank, but abandoned the cash after the container imploded, staining the money with red dye.

Richmond policeman, Sergeant Thami Zondi was shot dead while in pursuit of the attackers.

The trial 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

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.