Moyo robbed out of necessity - lawyer

2013-03-20 22:21

Pretoria - Serial escapee Bongani Moyo and Khumbulani Sibanda committed bank robberies to fend for themselves and their families, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

Leading evidence in mitigation of sentence for the Zimbabweans, their counsel Donald Somo said factors including poverty and the bad influence of friends had led the two to crime.

Moyo and Sibanda have entered into a plea bargain deal with the State.

They submitted sworn statements in which they admitting to 15 counts, including racketeering, bank robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and escape.

"The court should consider the accused persons' circumstances, including where they are coming from and what motivated them into crime," Somo submitted.

"For accused number four [Moyo], after serving his sentence he should be allowed to take care of his child.

"Their sentences should not be out of their life expectancies. Society needs people like the accused."

Judge Natvarlal Ranchod interjected: "Yes, but only when they are rehabilitated."

Somo asked the court to combine the sentences for the numerous bank robberies into one.

However, Ranchod said the robberies had been committed at different places on different days.

The State also opposed Somo's proposal.

Somo asked the court to be lenient. He said Moyo and Sibanda had shown remorse and had displayed respect for human life throughout their robberies.

Even though they had wielded loaded firearms, they had not shot at their victims, he said.

"They have told this court explicitly how necessary it was for them to commit the crime. They didn't want lavish lifestyles, but to have bread, not bread and butter, on their tables."

Said Ranchod: "So you are saying in those circumstances one justifies a bank robbery? They could steal bread from a shop. Your submission is difficult to follow."

Somo said "fighting" displayed in images brought to court on Wednesday by forensic expert Andries Marthinus van der Linde should not be generalised to mean Moyo and Sibanda were violent.

"If one looks at those images, the only way to get the victims [bank staff and patrons] to submission was by pointing the firearms.

"This was not a case where a gun was fired at someone. It was not the worst crime," he said.

Andries Marthinus van der Linde, a former policeman and member of an FNB branch earlier showed the court pictures of Moyo and Sibanda robbing banks as part of a gang in 2011.

He said the images were captured by security cameras in banks during robberies.

"We see that accused there [pointing to Moyo] and the action is slapping the security guard in the bank. He has a firearm in his left hand," Van der Linde told the court.

"In the other image we see him kicking the security guard, who is lying down. We see that in the other image the bank clients are lying down.

"That can only happen when there is use of violence and threats."

Ranchod postponed the matter to 25 March for sentencing.

  • Clement Mkololo - 2013-03-20 22:38

    Hovhu ndi vhubva ha high grade, hw do u explain havin energy of doing all these tasks bt fail to have energy of being a garden boy? Atleast u cud'v earned a honest livn out of it, ndi vhuyada

      leonard.tsolo - 2013-03-21 09:02

      Well said vho Mkololo. What more truth does a normal person needs to know.

  • Alan Street - 2013-03-20 22:43

    Where are these low IQ lawyers being bred? Probably also in Zimbananaland!

      Kari Pentikainen - 2013-03-21 00:39

      Hugh. I bet you they call you Hugh for short.

      Erna Westdyk - 2013-03-21 06:26

      No Hugh - the lawyer is the idiot!

  • Dave Kofang - 2013-03-20 23:12

    I wish this lawyer become a victim of crime so he can finally realise its a very serious issue.

      Alex Ndoo - 2013-03-21 00:20

      The lawyer lives in the ANC's SA - that's punishment in itself.

  • Tom Robbins - 2013-03-20 23:17

    They should lock up the scumbag lawyer with them and throw away the key.

      Alex Ndoo - 2013-03-21 00:21

      Yes, but they should throw the key away from the cell, not into it like they usually do.

  • Paul Van Schalkwyk - 2013-03-20 23:27

    i agree - ai toggie, it really feels like im in a twilight can an educated person make a statement like that (and get away with it) ! surely he is not qualified / fit to do his job (quite obvious) and that he is openly blatantly undermining the our justice system (which is joke already - shame )...i dont know where to go with this anymore ! maybe its necessary for me to get a zimbabwean get all my answers that ive wanted !!!!! deksels vervlaks ! what is happening around me !!!

      leonard.tsolo - 2013-03-21 09:07

      Paul.. End of the world,I assume.

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2013-03-21 23:05

      We are about half way through the process accurately described in Orwell's ANIMAL FARM. It is interesting to consider how to avoid the last events in the book!

  • Ahava Shapiro - 2013-03-20 23:31

    I cannot believe that this defense attorney spent years at varsity, studying law. The argument presented to the court is so absurd. I hope never to read someday, that he has a position as. Magistrate or Judge .

  • SharonE - 2013-03-20 23:50

    He did not rob because he is poor, he robbed because he is a THIEF - get it straight.

      leonard.tsolo - 2013-03-21 09:10

      Good one SharonE.. You can ask yourself again. How many poor people in this country?

  • Masilo Frans - 2013-03-20 23:53

    Da lawyer is why he justify da crime

  • Frank C Cruz - 2013-03-21 00:05

    With this statement alone, I find him and the bloody lawyer guilty, they shud both be locked up for good. Just imagine everyone without a job stealing and robbing people! Do u think u will survive? Nonsense!

  • Vivian Harris - 2013-03-21 00:15

    Did anyone check if this lawyer passed his exams? What a damn idiot. Guess I can go rob a few banks then because I'm in some financial difficulties. I promise I won't shoot anybody.

      Irene Kambo - 2013-03-21 04:28

      Sorry Viv , won't work for you . you're not black!

  • Alex Ndoo - 2013-03-21 00:23

    A face only a mother could love. Why has this thief not been thrown back into Zimbabwe yet? No room? There are oceans on the other three sides of SA that could be used...

  • Anthony Richardson - 2013-03-21 00:47

    So, being poor makes theft, armed robbery legit? I guess there are over 15 million poor and destitute waiting peopke waitibg on this ruling so that they can do some affirmative shopping, freelance wealth adjuters? Absolute moronic argument if you ask me!

  • Mandy Casey - 2013-03-21 01:08

    Numerous bank robberies - their families must have needed much cash.

  • Jan Louw - 2013-03-21 01:08

    Look at his face. Send him to China; armed robbery is one bullet.

  • Adri Bouma - 2013-03-21 01:33

    So I need to pay my water and electricity. Can now go almost shoot some people, kick and slap them and do it repeatedly and then just say sori and all will be forgiven... This is a free for all!!!!

      Imran Phiri - 2013-03-21 02:35

      He is a devil and must rot in jail not less than 20yrs

  • jaco.human.562 - 2013-03-21 05:47

    What utter BS. Society do not need people like this, we need law abiding citizens that work together to build this great country

  • Erna Westdyk - 2013-03-21 06:22

    Wow - what a defence. Judge must find it hard not to laugh out loud! Obviously the banks in SA have more money than in Zim - that's why they came here.

  • jeremy002 - 2013-03-21 06:35

    If you can't hang him, give him 99 years hard labour on Marion or Gough Island.

  • Chikomborero Dumba - 2013-03-21 06:49

    Sipho Mnguni, your comment is commendable but for it's moronic foundation.

      Sipho Mnguni - 2013-03-21 07:06

      So says the purveyor of all knowledge from Zimbabwe and the harbinger of all ideas. Ug indeed, sir, you are what you want me to believe you are you would be comfortably in your country and commenting there about the goings-on not in this country. Where were you when your country became the pathetic excuse that it is?

  • anele.mveku - 2013-03-21 06:50

    Poor lawyer is trying to mitigate. But there is no justification for their actions.

  • sxp - 2013-03-21 07:10

    So robbing people was easier than begging?

  • melt.olckers - 2013-03-21 07:23

    "Their sentences should not be out of their life expectancies. Society needs people like the accused." What? Do we need more bank robbers in our society? This lawyer is not thinking!

  • Pieter van der Merwe - 2013-03-21 07:39

    Africa says... 'it's our time to eat'!

  • mica.gogome - 2013-03-21 07:51


  • Ian Robert Reid - 2013-03-21 07:54

    Which side of the law r u on Somo? Must b these bandit's r shelling u a good coin from their booty?? Mmmmm?? no xcuse!!

  • Sthembiso Jali - 2013-03-21 07:57

    im impressed, I just went through all the comments on this one

  • MJS1234 - 2013-03-21 08:00

    What an insult to hard working people, people who work multiple jobs to provide for their families. You knob, are a CRIMINAL, not a victim. So put on your big boy panties and live with the consequences of your violent, criminal actions!

  • deon.duplessis.144 - 2013-03-21 08:07

    @MJS Amen to that!!! Millions of people live on or below the breadline, but their integrity prevents them from using hunger as a feeble excuse to self enrich themselves, at the psychological expense of others. If he truly only wanted to provide for his family, and stealing was the only way (which is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard), I am sure a petrol station, or corner cafe would do just fine, not a bank or two. BS is what it is and the courts should see i as such.

  • Karl Klopjag - 2013-03-21 08:08

    Stealing --- out of NECESSITY? Did he steal food? Winter clothes?

  • Terrence Schwartz - 2013-03-21 08:11

    Pathetic submission - what about the victims who are traumatised., some for life.

  • ian.murray.52459615 - 2013-03-21 08:18

    Judge, get angry at this Defence lawyer. One day communities should take defence lawyers who purposefully peddle lies, sjambok them and tar and feather this evil scum.

      Letlotlo Sephapo Malope - 2013-03-21 08:33

      The defence attorney is just doing his job people. Sometimes not the best job in the world but an important job nonetheless. Don't come here with threats of violence out of ignorance.

      mathews.wellington.5 - 2013-03-21 20:48

      bring back death sentence

  • Subspace Human - 2013-03-21 08:20

    The african way. Want..... take! Work.......Sleep! Think........blank!

      Nhlanhla Skhosana - 2013-03-21 08:30

      stop insulting africans, because there are hard working africans out there, please respect us

      briantebogo - 2013-03-21 13:23

      What the f**k are you doing in Africa then?

  • Abner M. Mophethe - 2013-03-21 08:22

    did these two ever try to find work at a citrus farm or a construction site or even try being car guards for a day?

  • Letlotlo Sephapo Malope - 2013-03-21 08:28

    ''Society needs people like the accused.'' whaaa?????

  • Christopher James Glisson - 2013-03-21 08:33

    Sounds to me it should be Somo doing the garden job. His knowledge of law and order seems very limited. Start a kibbutz, bro, you can employ and feed thousands instead of attempting to let criminals free. And just as a matter of interest who is paying you with money from where ??

  • Masego Kale - 2013-03-21 08:48

    arg, this is a dumb situation, with a dumb lawyer, everything is just dumb

  • Alan Kennedy - 2013-03-21 09:09

    Send them to Zim to serve out their time in one of Mugabe's hell-hole prisons

  • Don Quioxte - 2013-03-21 09:16

    Somo you turd.We might believe you if you said he needed to rob to keep those lips inflated.

  • leonard.tsolo - 2013-03-21 09:19

    Mabena.Remember there is no money in Zim banks. How can they rob empty banks.

  • Mlimi Liba Siqendu - 2013-03-21 10:08

    Such behaviour must be made to be less attractive. In addition to an approprite verdict of having made the worst crime of pointing innocent citizens with a firearm they must be slapped with a heavier sentence for undertaking a transnational criminal enterprise. And the sentence for that can be appropriate if it is hard labour to deter the next criminals from engaging in such crimes in the future. Everybody rich or poor must know that crime does not pay. Criminals take a chance on the enabling conditions which are brought by the country's Constitution. The Constitution requires that even criminals have a right to nutritious food and entertainment like watching TVs.

  • Doreen Blessed Nokwanda - 2013-03-21 10:34

    Robbing a bank to buy,we kids neh.

  • Joan Vd Merwe - 2013-03-21 11:49

    The lawyer needs to be disbarred - He is obviously and idiot!

  • Imani Azania - 2013-03-21 12:08

    Crime is crime there is no justification...haibo!!

  • renier.lubbe.7 - 2013-03-21 12:48

    Robbing because I am poor, Kicking a hostage on the floor because I can, escaping because prison is not nice. There is no country in the world where this guy could live. Throw him in jail and keep him there.

  • Mordikaai Speak - 2013-03-21 13:15

    Many people are down and out but they do not follow the path he did

      mathews.wellington.5 - 2013-03-22 07:37

      It is true many pple ur surffering but moyo wrong turn left

  • Tymon Moyo - 2013-03-21 16:11

    I think this lawyer Somo is mad .what neccessities was this thug moyo robbed,

  • rob.martin.94402343 - 2013-03-21 16:19

    Lock them up....out of necessity.

  • rob.tubbs.39 - 2013-03-21 18:47

    Hey SOMO.. Your 'so called' Defence has been used unsuccesfully for many a year boy.. You are certainly not the first one to try this pathetic 'ploy. If you are hungry, steal a loaf of bread or some fruit and vegetables - don't use weapons and violence to 'rob', don't hi-jack a car, don't murder an innocent person,. Where did you 'buy' your Lawyers degree from...? YOUR DEFENCE WILL FAIL.....

  • Blemz Mus - 2013-03-22 15:26

    Donald Somo....the lawyer. Must be Donald ducks brother. What an idiot for even suggesting such nonsense. Really now, who would commit such crimes to fend for their families. What a reason. And this adds to my article on the justice system in this country, where they give convicted criminals the right to a lawyer to prove their innocents when they are already guilty. And you know what? they actually in many cases, even with stupid excuses like this one, get away and are given bail because of lack of evidence or weakness in statements. This wastes the cops efforts to chase and arrest a criminal. Ok, that aside, now in these financially though times, you know what to do.....rob a bank and say your kids are hungry!! That's what is implied by this dumb lawyer who just to get paid had to think of an excuse to justify a bank robber that has 15 crimes against him.

  • Zg Bosch - 2013-03-22 19:38

    Simple formular might help the "poo" lawyer out,1+1=2, not 11,two wrongs don't make a right.