Ex top cop's son guilty of string of violent robberies

2015-04-08 20:27

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Pretoria - The son of a former senior police officer was on Wednesday found guilty in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on charges of five charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Nkosanathi Melvin Nkuleleko Mtimkulu, 28, of Atteridgeville was also convicted on three charges of housebreaking and the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Mtimkulu was working as an administrative clerk at police headquarters in Pretoria when he became involved in the crime spree.

His mother is former police division Commissioner Lindiwe Mtimkulu.

Mtimkulu was part of an armed gang which in April and May 2009 robbed and broke into four houses in Monument Park, Moreleta Park and Constantia Park.

Several of their victims were tied up and threatened with death before the houses were ransacked.

Their crime spree started on April 2 2009 when they went to a house in Monument Park and robbed the residents of jewellery, cash, a pistol and electronic equipment.

Nine days later, on April 11, they broke into Werner Bessigner's house in Moreleta Park and stole laptops, cameras, jewellery and bottles of wine.

When Bessinger and his wife returned home they found a maroon Volkswagen minibus parked at their front gate. He tried to follow the robbers, but gave up the chase when shots were fired at them.

On April 15, the gang broke into a Constantia Park house, held the owner and three other people at gunpoint and robbed them of electronic equipment.

Ephraim Kgopoane, who went to the house to buy a car that day, was robbed of his cellphone and over R13 000 he had saved up for the car.

Less than a month later, the gang struck again when they went to the Moreleta Park home of lawyer Andre van Zyl, assaulted him and his secretary and robbed him of a large number of electronic goods and his diary.

When the police arrived, a chase and shoot-out followed during which Mtimkulu and the get-away driver, Clifford Motileng, were injured.

Motileng managed to get away, but was later arrested when he went to a hospital.

Mtimkulu was arrested at a nearby train station. A firearm linked to one of the robberies was found in his possession.

Diary found

Police found Van Zyl's diary in the get-away car and Mtimkulu's blood was also found on a knife inside the car.

Motileng testified for the state against Mtimkulu after being offered indemnity from prosecution.

He testified that Mtimkulu had been a member of the robbery gang, was armed with a knife and a firearm and had pointed out the houses to be robbed.

Judge Nico Coetzee rejected Mtimkulu's evidence that Motileng had falsely implicated him because they had a fight in the past about his girlfriend.

Mtimkulu also claimed Motileng was "jealous" of him because he attended a private school and spent time in the UK.

Mtimkulu's trial commenced in 2011, but was postponed 22 times before the court refused any further postponements, saying Mtimkulu was deliberately trying to delay his trial.

He changed advocates several times and also brought several unsuccessful applications to stop the charges against him from proceeding.

The defence argued that Mtimkulu should be served to less than the minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment on each robbery count.

The prosecution argued that he was a well-educated, well-travelled person who clearly had no financial problems and had committed the crimes for greed and an adrenaline-seeking thrill with total disregard for others.

Judge Coetzee will sentence Mtimkulu on Thursday.

Read more on:    police  |  pretoria  |  crime

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