Gang in court after members killed in shoot-out

2015-04-24 13:43

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Pietermartizburg - An alleged gang are on trial for the murders of three of their members who were shot dead in a shoot-out with the police and security guards in a failed robbery of a bank in Richmond in 2014.

They also face two further murder charges, one of SA Police Service Sergeant Thamsanga Zondi, who rushed to the bank during the attempted robbery, and Securicor's Sicelo Phungula, who was shot by a robber as he was about to feed R300 000 into the ATM.

The box imploded, dying the money with ink.

The accused, Thulani Cornelius Doncabe, 40, Siboniso Lwazi Mpanza, 20 and Sandile Eddie Shongwe, 34, all from Durban, have pleaded not guilty to the five murders, the aggravated robbery of three Capitec men, six attempted murders of workers and bystanders, 10 attempted murders of policemen involved in the shoot-out and arrests, and the theft of two cars which were stolen in Durban to use in the attempted robbery.

The trial was expected to last at least two weeks in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, with Judge Rishi Seegobin presiding.

AK47, R5 rifles

According to the indictment the gang knew that their attempt could be met with violent resistance from armed security guards and the police. They also knew that commercial banks used private security guards and that the ATMs were linked to security alarm systems. 

The gang were allegedly armed with AK47 and R5 rifles and handguns during the attempted robbery in January last year.

Driver Bhekumdeni Dladla had parked the Securicor vehicle outside the bank on the day while Phungula took the money box into the bank.

The gang arrived in three vehicles. Those in the two stolen cars went close to the bank while others waited some distance away in order to make a quick get-away. Some of them then went to the bank. 

Dladla soon realised that Phungula had been shot and tried to chase the members but they opened fire.

As the members fled, they were pursued by the police and the shoot-out ensued. 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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