Truck bomb case: not guilty, say six

2011-08-05 00:00

SIX men, including a former member of the Ladysmith police dog unit, pleaded not guilty in the high court yesterday to charges that they conducted a R692 000 cash-in-transit robbery by ramming a G4 security vehicle with a truck and caused an explosion to gain access to the money near Ladysmith on October 10, 2009.

The accused are charged with the murders of two G4 security guards — George van Tonder and Sibusiso Phakathi, and an alleged co-perpetrator in the robbery, Ottomman Msimango — who all died as a result of the accident and explosion.

Jerody Mthimunye (34), Philemon Nhleko (38), Ewat Ndubuko, Zikethela Sokhela (30), former police sergeant Siyabonga Nkwanyana (39) and Mandla Maloi (37) all pleaded not guilty to all the charges before Judge Anton van Zyl and assessors yesterday.

They face charges of theft of a truck, endangering property, three counts of murder, one of attempted murder and two of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The state alleges that the accused and others unknown to the prosecution conspired to enrich themselves by committing the robbery.

They stole a white Toyota truck belonging to Ivor Ogle at Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape on August 30, 2009.

On October 10, 2009, while the G4 security cash vehicle was travelling along the N11 between Newcastle and Ladysmith the accused, in the Toyota, intercepted the vehicle near Fort Mistake, forcing the driver to stop by ramming it.

“The accused then used explosives to gain entry to the G4 security vehicle from where they stole cash in the amount of R692 132 and an LM5 rifle,” the state alleges.

The collision and explosion caused injury and death of the occupants of the G4 security vehicle, as well as Msimango.

Motorist Deborah Shabalala, who was travelling towards Ladysmith, was hijacked when she came upon the scene of the robbery and her vehicle was used by the robbers to flee.

The case is proceeding.

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