Judge to hold court in Kokstad jail

2011-09-06 00:00

IN an unprecedented move, high court Judge Jan Combrink, presiding over the trial of an alleged cash in transit syndicate dubbed the “KZN 26”, will sit in the Kok­stad Prison to hear further legal submissions in the case this week.

The Witness was told that it is thought to be “less risky” to move the court to the prison than to arrange for the 26 accused to be brought to Pongola where the trial has been heard.

The case, viewed as the biggest and most complex of its type, dates back to 2006.

The judge is preparing his verdict, which is due next year, but requires further legal argument. This will now be heard in the jail at Kokstad during the course of this week.

Heavily armed police have been present at all court appearances by the accused, who face 31 charges ranging from murder and attempted murder to kidnapping.

They are also charged with six counts of unlawful possession of firearms, one of possession of ammunition and a charge of failing to lock away a firearm. Only one accused, Mbuso Mncube (36) of Richards Bay, was granted bail.

Charges the accused face include two relating to cash-in-transit heists on the N2 at KwaMbonambi on October 2, 2006, in which the robber gang rammed Fidelity Cash Management Services vehicles in luxury cars. In the first incident the robbers overturned the Fidelity van, but failed to cut it open to gain access to the money.

In the second shortly afterwards they allegedly stole R1,6 million.

Gang members hijacked motorists in the vicinity of the heists and a motorist was shot at.

Twenty-four of the accused travelling in four vehicles were stopped and arrested at Mvoti Toll Plaza, after they allegedly met up and divided the money.

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