Gang who held up Impendle post office to be sentenced today

2011-07-28 00:00

FOUR men were found guilty in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday of robbing the Impendle post office and pension payout point of R59 173 on September 1, 2008.

The post office is just metres away from the local police station.

During the robbery an 80-year-old pensioner, Alexia Mncwabe, was shot and wounded in her right buttock, and a security guard, Sbongiseni Mkhulisi, was shot in his hand.

The robbers opened fire as they entered the post office while pensions were being paid out.

Cashiers Bavumile Mbelu and Patricia Mgoza fled, leaving the money behind.

While fleeing the scene one of the four accused, Mthoko Mokoena (now 27 years old) of Durban, was left behind and was set upon and severely beaten up by community members while trying to reach the getaway bakkie in which his companions escaped. They were arrested the same day.

Mokoena’s legal aid attorney, Kelvin Singh, urged Judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo to take into account when sentencing him today that he had already been punished because he sustained a severe injury to his left forearm into which a steel plate has been inserted and a bullet remains lodged in his arm.

The beating he got was so severe that he had passed out, he said.

Singh added it was “ironic” that Mokoena celebrated his 24th birthday on the day of the robbery.

The other three accused who will also be sentenced today for their role in the robbery are Mudemude Memela (55) of Durban, Mcabangeni Xaba (49) of Richmond and Khulekani Ndlovu (31), also of Durban, who was found to have been the driver of the getaway bakkie, which was a stolen vehicle. He was convicted of an additional charge of motor vehicle theft.

The court heard that only R10 600 of the stolen money was recovered.

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