‘Takkie gang’: no bail

2015-07-02 08:07
Sutterstock: Man with a knife

Sutterstock: Man with a knife

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BAIL has been denied to four alleged members of a gang said to be responsible for “terrorising” Copesville residents, and who are charged with murdering a man for just a pair of takkies worth R60.

Msawenkosi Zandile (20) from Imbali, Sibongile Gcina (20), Linda Mkhize (19) and Sifiso Ntombela (18) all from Swapo B, are charged with the murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances of Jody Thomas.

Thomas was stabbed to death along New Greytown Road and robbed of his takkies after he and a friend decided to take a short-cut home on June 5.

Investigating officer, Warrant Officer Ashok Baldowu of Mountain Rise, said in an affidavit opposing bail for the men, that they were allegedly part of a gang responsible for terrorising Copesville and robbing people coming to and from work and school.

Zandile is alleged to be the leader of the gang.

“People are afraid of them … They don’t report cases to the police for fear of victimisation,” said Baldowu.

He said in the present case, Thomas and a friend were returning home after running errands and decided to take a short-cut.

They were confronted by the gang who were lying in wait along the short-cut for someone to rob.

Thomas’s friend managed to run away to get help, but the gang caught Thomas.

Baldowu alleged that Gcina had stabbed him, while the other three robbed him.

Zandile and Mkhize searched the victim’s pockets while Ntombela removed his takkies, he said.

They fled with just the takkies, which they later sold for R60 and spent the proceeds in a tavern.

Baldowu said the person who bought the takkies had implicated Mkhize as the person who sold him the shoes.

He said if the four accused were released on bail he believed they would commit further crimes and may also not stand their trial. All of them are unemployed and have no assets.

He said that when the gang learnt that Thomas had died, the four men fled the area.

Gcina and Mkhize were arrested in a bakkie laden with their belongings, and Ntombela was found hiding in a house.

Blood was discovered on some of the men’s clothing.

Baldowu said one state witness saw Gcina washing blood off his clothes and hands; Zandile was pointed out in a police identity parade; Gcina and Ntombela both made statements to commissioned police officers admitting they were present and participated in the offences; and Ntombela made a confession to a magistrate.

In their applications for bail in respect of which they were represented by legal aid attorney, Jay Sundar, two of the men — Mkhize and Ntombela — said they intend pleading not guilty to the murder charge facing them, but guilty to robbery. Both their co-accused said they will plead not guilty to all the offences.

Refusing them bail, Boikhutso said the state’s case against the men appeared to be strong and they might be a flight risk.

The case was adjourned to August 3

Read more on:    robbery  |  murder

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