Pay point robbers get 35 years

2013-07-08 00:00

FIVE men were sentenced to more than 35 years’ imprisonment by the ­Pieter­maritz­burg high court for the robbery at a Kranskop pension pay point on July 2, 2010.

Handing down the sentence, acting Judge Tule-tu Tonjeni said the men’s behaviour was “unbelievable” and “reckless”.

Five-year-old Banele Hlela was among the civilians who were shot and wounded ­during the robbery at kwa­Siyabonga Supermarket in Kranskop. Police officers were also injured during the robbery.

The court concluded by sentencing Sizwe Ntshangase (27), Muzi Ndawonde (28), Mlungisi Magwaza (24), Bongikwema Langa (32) and Phumlani Mpembe (28) for the string of crimes that were well planned before attacking the pension pay point.

“It was a Friday, next to a busy taxi rank and at the pension pay point. The accused used high-calibre firearms in broad daylight. They did not care about everyone else and had no regard or respect for human life, as they wanted to achieve their goal — to rob,” said the judge.

She said the victims, including the five-year-old boy, were still walking around with ­bullets embedded in their bodies.

A bullet is still lodged in the boy’s neck and his medical condition is not promising.

For nine counts of attempted murder, the accused were sentenced to 10 years for each count, but these will run concurrently. For armed robbery, they were sentenced to 15 years but Langa was sentenced to 20 years as he was not a first-time offender.

The judge further ordered that the accused should not be released before they have served 20 years of their imposed sentences.

Defence attorneys Murgan Pillay and Shaheen Seedat told the court after the sentencing that they would like to be given some time so they can apply for leave to appeal against the convictions and the given sentences.


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