Court finds ATM bombing gang guilty of murder

2016-10-18 22:05
ATM. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

ATM. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - Eight members of an ATM bombing syndicate were on Tuesday convicted of killing three people, including a police officer, during a crime spree several years ago.   

Judge Yvonne Mbatha, in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg, found them guilty on charges of murder, attempted murder, and illegal possession of explosives and firearms, for six ATM demolitions in KwaZulu-Natal between September 2012 and January 2013.

They stole at least R1 226 000.

Mbatha said the bombings involved a vast amount of planning and preparation. They acquired prohibited explosives, weapons, detonators and other equipment, including crowbars, to smash the ATMs.

Eight of the nine men were arrested at Mtubatuba, apparently on their way to do another bombing in 2013.

They used three AK-47 machine guns and another weapon.

READ: Fleeing ATM bombers in shoot-out with police

The bombings were perpetrated after 00:00. In Utrecht, gang members who had been tasked with warding off policemen shot dead Bongakuhle Nkosi and Sizwe Gule, who were on their way to work.

After a bombing at Midmar dam, near Howick, the gang shot dead police Constable Vidhur Jadu during a pursuit.

They shot security guard Tafadzwa Michael Chappwanya in the stomach at Nottingham Road. Another man was shot in the leg as he was driving his family past the scene of a bombing in the middle of Howick.

The men who did the bombing were trained in the use of explosive cartridges and electric detonators used in mining.

They are Thembela Ngubane, 27, Menzima Mdakakne, 28, Sifiso Mdakane, 32, Sifiso Msibi, 33, Sphelele Dubazane, 27, all of Bergville; Siphowe Mabizela, 34, of Ladysmith; Muthikabane, 31, and Mthenjwa Butehelezi, 27, both of Mtubatuba .

A ninth accused, Lungisani Dladla, 32, of Keate's Drift was acquitted of all charges.

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