Hijacker says cop’s claim ‘is a joke’

2012-10-10 00:00

A MAN serving a nine year sentence for a truck hijacking at Ashburton in 2010 told the regional court yesterday his police accomplice used a state vehicle, siren and blue lights to try and stop the truck — and when that didn’t work, he used his loudhailer.

Nkosenhle Goodenough Ndlovu pleaded guilty on February 17, to hijacking a truck transporting Unilever products at Ashburton on the night of August 30, 2010.

He gave evidence yesterday implicating former Alexandra Road police constable Sizwe Ndlovu in the incident.

In response to a suggestion by the accused’s lawyer, Nasen Naicker, that the policeman had left his state vehicle and keys at his (Nkosenhle Ndlovu’s) house while he’d spent the night in question with his girlfriend and knew nothing of the hijacking, Ndlovu replied that was “a joke”.

Ndlovu, who resigned from the SAPS, and is on R10 000 bail, has pleaded not guilty before regional magistrate, Mpume Linda, to armed robbery of truck driver Simlindile Lawana.

According to the charge sheet the contents of the truck (details of which are not given) were worth R273 000.

Lawana was also robbed of his cellphone and wallet.

Ndlovu said he was approached by a friend, Phumlani Dlungwana in July 2010, about a plan to rob his employer, Unilever.

“I was against it. I told him we were employed and we should go on with our lives,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu said at the time he worked for Msunduzi municipality. He resided in the Enqabeni area and was also a member of a community police forum.

He said Dlungwana again raised the matter of the robbery in August 2010 and mentioned he had a “plan B”.

“He said it was no longer going to be difficult to execute the robbery as a police vehicle was going to be used to stop the truck,” he said.

Ndlovu said he expressed his concern that most trucks were fitted with trackers, but the accused replied that the tracker on his vehicle had been suspended, and Dlungwana said he could disable the tracker device on the truck.

“They managed to convince me,” he said.

On the night of the robbery Ndlovu said he took an unlicensed firearm and joined Dlungwana and the accused, who was driving a twin-cab Ford bakkie.

En route they stopped at a garage and the accused gave him some money to buy cable ties. Ndlovu said they’d watched the truck activity at Unilever from a vantage point.

When the truck in question passed them, they followed it.

The accused then switched on the police siren and blue lights, but the truck didn’t stop. “The accused then decided to speak on the loudspeaker, telling the driver to stop and announcing himself as a police officer,” he said.

He and Dlungwana had accosted the truck driver and his assistants and drove to a forested area where they tied them up with cable ties and left them. They also took their cellphones and threw them away.

Ndlovu said the accused had caught up with them at his homestead. They offloaded the truck and ferried the goods to a rondavel in the police vehicle, making about 20 trips.

The truck was later abandoned at Mpophomeni.

Ndlovu said he’d felt “terrified” throughout the incident and could not sleep at home. Instead he went to stay with his junior wife. The following morning he observed the police at his homestead. It became clear that they had recovered the goods.

The case proceeds on November 20.

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