New charges for axed ANC official in cash-in-transit heist case

A former ANC official and three others charged in connection with a Johannesburg cash-in-transit heist now face three charges, it emerged in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Initially, the men were only charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances.

However, prosecutor Paseka Temeki told Magistrate John Baloyi on Tuesday that charges of attempted murder and possession of stolen vehicles had been added to the charge sheet.

Former ANC employee Errol Velile Present appeared in the dock on Tuesday alongside co-accused Zakhele Zondi, 37, Itumeleng Manama, 40, and Bheki Biyela, 36.

The men were arrested by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department's K9 Unit and Crime Intelligence in connection with a heist in Dobsonville, Soweto earlier this month, where a security guard was shot and wounded.

READ: Axed ANC employee linked to at least 3 heists - Cele

In court on Tuesday, the lawyers representing the men objected to the new charge sheet.

Present’s lawyer Ben Modumaela argued that Present was not found in possession of suspected stolen vehicles, saying that he had been walking at the time of his arrest.

According to Modumaela, four witnesses were supposed to point out the perpetrators of the robbery. However, Present and his co-accused were not identified, he said.

He added that Present would object to a further identity parade because his picture was distributed on social media.

The defence also applied for access to the contents of the docket in the case.

Attorney Brighton Hlayisani Taula, who represented Zondi and Biyela, told the court that they needed the documents to properly prepare for the bail application.

"If one is to prove existence of exceptional circumstances without knowing the content of the docket, it becomes difficult, if not impossible," Taula said.

READ MORE: ANC heist suspect linked to Nkwinti's R97m 'farm for friends' scandal

Manama's lawyer, Nthabiseng Mohomune, added that the State would not suffer any prejudice if the docket was made accessible to the defence.

Modumaela argued that there was an onus on the accused to prove that exceptional circumstances existed to justify his release on bail.

"We beg, seeking that the State provide us with the statements by the witnesses that [implicated] us. We further request a statement pertaining to the suspected stolen or hijacked vehicles."

The court was packed to capacity on Tuesday and armed police officers stood on the side of the room.

The case has been postponed to August 3 for Baloyi's ruling.

Meanwhile, Baloyi ruled that photographs of the accused may not be published because an identity parade has not yet been held.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4737 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5799 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.99
+0.4%
Rand - Pound
19.39
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.35
+0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.66
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.3%
Gold
1,631.49
+0.6%
Silver
18.51
+0.9%
Palladium
2,046.50
+0.2%
Platinum
856.00
+0.4%
Brent Crude
84.06
-2.5%
Top 40
57,290
0.0%
All Share
63,626
0.0%
Resource 10
56,215
0.0%
Industrial 25
79,529
0.0%
Financial 15
13,982
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE