‘KZN 24’ sentenced

2012-06-30 00:00

HIGH court Judge Jan Combrink handed down sentences of life plus jail terms of 153, 138 and 130 years imprisonment for 24 cash-in-transit robbers, in Pongola yesterday.

The four-and-a-half year trial ended in March when 24 members of the so-called “KZN 26” cash heist gang were convicted on multiple charges including murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, kidnapping, vehicle hijacking, theft of motor vehicles and contraventions of the Arms Control Act.

The case assumed monumental proportions with a record running to 7 000 pages and documentary exhibits totalling 12 000 pages and detailed cellphone evidence during which 72 000 calls were analysed.

The case centred on two ambushes of Fidelity Guard vehicles 30 km apart on the N2 near Charters Creek and kwaMbonambi in Zululand in October 2006.

Luxury vehicles were used to ram the cash vans and overturn them before the robbers opened fire with high-powered weapons. They escaped with R1,6 million in one incident.

At kwaMbonambi they failed to get into the armoured vehicle.

During their escape the robbers hijacked vehicles and fired on police who happened on the scene at Charters Creek. They also shot a security guard who saw them abandoning stolen vehicles in a plantation.

During the case one accused, Percy Kunene, was acquitted and another, Lebohang Mothepu, died in jail of natural causes.

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