Accused may be Athlone spree link

2008-04-01 00:00

A 28-year-old man, Musa-wenkosi Mgaga, appeared briefly in the magistrate’s court yesterday, following his arrest in connection with the work of an alleged syndicate that is suspected of involvement in a spate of robberies at homes in Athlone and surrounding areas recently.

Mgaga was not asked to plead to any charges and was remanded in custody pending further investigations for seven days.

Mgaga is charged with the robbery with aggravating circumstances of Elizabeth Maphumulo in Howick Road. It is alleged she was held up with a 9 mm pistol during the robbery at the house on March 19.

Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said the arrest was made by members of the Town Hill police following intensive investigations by detectives at the station, in conjunction with other police units in the province.

“The arrest took place at Clermont in the Pinetown area on Friday, March 28. Several stolen items that were reported stolen from some of these houses were recovered from the arrested man. Police strongly believe that the arrested man is part of a huge crime syndicate operating in the province,” Budhram said in a media release.

He added that further arrests are expected.

The Witness reported last week that residents of Athlone and its surrounds are living in fear of an audacious armed gang, which strikes brazenly in broad daylight.

Eleven houses were reported to have been targeted by the robbers in the space of four weeks.

The Witness reported that elderly domestic worker Elizabeth Maphumulo was one of the victims of crime while her employer, Sandy Sagar, was away at work. She was reported to have been “bashed around” by three men who arrived at the house posing as deliverymen.

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