Three guilty of spate of South Coast hold-ups

2013-04-18 00:00

THREE men — one a policeman — were found guilty yesterday of involvement in a spate of armed robberies at pubs on the South Coast in 2010.

Two of the men — including the policeman — were also convicted of taking part in an armed hold-up and raid on the Swartberg police station, in which two R-5 rifles, five 9 mm pistols, two bulletproof vests, a police torch and a quantity of ammunition were stolen on November 29, 2009. A policeman in the station at the time was held up at gunpoint, handcuffed and robbed of his pistol. The robbers demanded keys to the safe and ransacked it.

KZN Deputy Judge President Achmat Jappie will today hear argument in relation to sentencing of the men — John Green-Thompson (44) and former policeman Sibuso Mazeka (35), both of Margate, and Mduduzi Dlamini (28), of Port Shepstone.

A fourth man, Zenzele Gumede (28) of Port Shepstone, was acquitted of all charges after the court ruled that the only evidence linking him to the crimes were cellphone records. The court also acquitted all four men of racketeering charges after an accomplice witness recanted during the trial and denied any knowledge of the offences.

Dlamini was found guilty of only one count of robbery with aggravating circumstance at the Poison Apple Pub on February 13, 2010, in which patrons and staff were forced to empty the contents of their pockets, including bank cards and driver’s licences, at gunpoint.

Mazeka was found guilty of involvement in robberies at the Swartberg police station, the Pit Stop pub, the Poison Apple pub, Cove pub and Broomers Pub and Grill, as well as unlawful possession of three firearms recovered from the boot of a vehicle in which he and his co-accused were arrested.

Green-Thompson was found guilty of robbing the Swartberg police station, Poison Apple pub, Cove pub and Broomers Pub and Grill, as well three counts of unlawful possession of the firearms recovered from the boot of the hired VW Golf in which he was arrested together with Mazeka and Dlamini.

The court found there was insufficient proof to link Dlamini to the illegal firearms charges.

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