Serial escapee Moyo seeks plea bargain

2013-03-11 19:17
Bongani Moyo (File: Beeld)

Bongani Moyo (File: Beeld)

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Pretoria - Serial escapee Bongani Moyo is seeking a plea bargain with the State on charges resulting from a series of armed bank robberies in Gauteng and the North West in 2011.

Moyo, 29, Khumbulani Sibanda, 30, Leon Ncube, 27, and Thabani Sibanda, 27, appeared in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

They face eight charges including racketeering, robbery with aggravating circumstances and escaping from custody. All the accused are Zimbabweans.

Prosecutor Abe Koalepe told the court the State and defence counsel for Moyo and Khumbulani Sibanda were discussing a possible plea bargain agreement.

Judge Natvarlal Ranchod postponed the trial to Thursday for the State to consider the plea bargain.

Ncube and Thabani Sibanda would go on trial separately.

A large number of policemen and correctional services officials guarded the four accused in court.

The four escaped from prison in March 2011, a month before the bank robberies.

Moyo escaped from the Pretoria Magistrate's Court in August 2011 while on crutches.

He was re-arrested three weeks later near the Beitbridge border post in Limpopo while re-entering South Africa from Zimbabwe. He escaped again from Pretoria Central prison in 2012.

The State alleges the four accused were part of a gang who planned and executed a series of armed bank robberies in Pretoria, Rustenburg, Boksburg, and Roodepoort in April and May 2011.

Their modus operandi was allegedly to have some members stand guard at the entrance of the bank while others went inside and forced bank tellers, managers, security guards and customers to hand over money and valuables. The gang allegedly stole over R260 000 in the six robberies.

The State alleges Thabani Sibanda attempted to murder a policeman, Warrant Officer Charles van Niekerk, by trying to run him over with a car when Van Niekerk wanted to arrest him in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, in May 2011.

Read more on:    bongani moyo  |  heists

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