ATM bomb suspects indicted on 31 charges

2013-03-08 00:00

THE 10 men detained in connection with numerous ATM bombings in the province were served with a draft indictment detailing 31 charges facing them yesterday.

The men appeared in the new court building in Pietermaritz Street yesterday, amid tight security.

All in leg irons and under police guard, they applied for bail before regional magistrate Kevin Leat.

The charges in the draft indictment served on them yesterday by state advocate Dorian Paver include murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, theft, malicious injury to property, contravening explosives legislation, and unlawful possession of firearms, including machine guns, ammunition and explosives.

The crimes were committed between September 28, 2012 and January 13 this year.

Johannesburg advocate Goodman Nukeri and attorney Eric Baloyi filed affidavits on behalf of Thembela Ngubane (27) Menziwa Mdakane (28), Sifiso Mdakane (32), Sifiso Khubeka (28), Sibongeni Msibi (33), and Sphelele Dubazane (27) all of Bergville, Siphiwe Mabizela (34) of Ladysmith, Muthikabani Buthelezi (31) and Mthenjwa Buthelezi (27) of Mtubatuba and Lungisani Dladla (32) of Keates Drift, in support of their bail applications.

Each of the men said in their affidavits that they intended to plead not guilty to the charges and complained that they had been assaulted and “tubed” by police following their arrests.

Paver said the state would consider the affidavits and file a written response on April 12, when the case returns to court.

In the meantime, the men were remanded in custody.

The state alleges in its draft indictment that the men and other assailants were part of a syndicate whose purpose was to target automatic teller machines (ATMs) at various locations in KwaZulu-Natal, cause explosions of the ATMs and steal the cash in them.

The charges arise from ATM bombing incidents at Nottingham Road, Howick, Merrivale, Greytown and Utrecht.

The men are also charged with the murders of police constable Vidhur Jadu in a shoot-out in Howick on November 7 last year, a woman, Bongokuhle Nkosi, and a man, Sizwe Gule, at Utrecht on December 5, last year.

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