Cigarette syndicate jailed

2011-11-09 00:00

AN attorney and five of his accomplices were convicted and sentenced in the Ramsgate High Court last week.

The syndicate was arrested near Scottburgh in 2009 in connection with a string of hijackings of DHL vehicles that transported cigarettes.

During 2008 and 2009 DHL vehicles transporting British American Tobacco Products in KwaZulu Natal were hijacked 159 times.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Zandra Wiid said, “The cargo was being stolen and the DHL vehicles were always recovered shortly after the hijackings.”

The loss to the company was R15,3 million in the two years.

“DPCI organised crime unit Port Shepstone launched “Operation Highway” to nab the syndicate,” said Wiid.

The men were arrested during a botched hijacking near Scottburgh when the vehicle was intercepted by the police near Scottburgh.

“Six people from the Durban area were arrested and a Ford Courier bakkie and a VW Jetta were recovered as well as two unlicensed firearms.”

After numerous unsuccessful bail applications the trial of the six accused begain on October 17 at Ramsgate High court.

The trial concluded on November 4 when all six were convicted and sentenced.

Linda Mbatha, an attorney, Siyabonga Gumede and Philani Mnkathi each received 19 years’ jail. Zakhele Khumalo, Thabane Shabalala and Siyabonga Shozi received sentences of 20, 17 and 22 years respectively.

DHL could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.