Hijack accused has 14 previous convictions

2011-01-28 00:00

A MAN charged with hijacking a Pietermaritzburg car salesman at gunpoint on October 6 last year has previous convictions for offences ranging from public violence and car theft to attempted murder and armed robbery.

Accused Msitheni Sibisi (58) of Msinga admitted to 14 previous convictions dating back to 1969 when he testified before magistrate Divesh Mootheram during his bail application yesterday.

He explained that most of the offences were committed during the apartheid era and most of them were politically motivated.

In 1989 Sibisi was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for robbery, to 12 years’ for attempted murder and two years’ for the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition. He said he was released in December 2005 “for good behaviour”.

He was arrested again in April last year on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, but the charge was withdrawn.

Sibisi said he intends to plead not guilty to a charge of robbing Echo Car Sales salesman Zqira Hati of a Mazda at gunpoint during a test drive.

Sibisi said he was advised by his attorney not to answer incriminating questions.

However, he did tell the court he was asked by an acquaintance, Bongani Phungose, to accompany him to a car dealership as he wanted to buy a car.

He told the court Phungose bought a green Mazda.

One Friday he borrowed the vehicle, drove it to a filling station to put in petrol and was en route to his sister’s home when the car had a puncture. Police arrived at the scene and arrested him.

Sibisi said he is married with five children and that his family is “destitute” as a result of his incarceration.

He is self-employed as a hawker, selling clothing,

He said he owns a Toyota Cressida which “could be worth R40 000” as it is in good condition, and a house in Msinga.

Investigating officer Warrant Officer Shanalan Moodley is expected to testify when the bail hearing resumes on February 10.

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