Alleged chief justice robbery 'mastermind' claims police assaulted him

2017-03-27 13:35
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

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Johannesburg - The alleged mastermind behind the robbery at the office of the chief justice was assaulted by police after he handed himself over on Friday, his lawyer said.

Dressed in a black jack, dark pants, with a short Mohawk hairstyle, Nkosinathi Msimango appeared in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Monday afternoon.

He nodded to a woman who was seated in the packed court gallery as he walked to the dock.

"He was slapped around and interrogated after he handed himself over... he was booked back to the cells at 01:00 [on Saturday morning]," his lawyer Marchand Kilian told the court.

Msimango handed himself over to the police on Friday afternoon.

He faces charges of housebreaking and theft.

'Ridiculous' request

Kilian said Msimango had no knowledge of the offence.

The State on Monday asked for the case to be postponed to verify Msimango's address.

Msimango provided two addresses to the court: One where his mother lives and where he stays with his girlfriend.

However, the State said they could not verify the address where he lives with his girlfriend.

Prosecutor Linda Dlamini said the State also wanted to confirm Msimango's profile as well as determine how much the equipment stolen from the chief justice's offices were worth.

But Msimango's lawyer said the State's request was "ridiculous".

He said officers should have verified Msimango's profile when they were searching for him.

"Twenty well-equipped and experienced officers from the Hawks could not determine how much the [equipment] was worth?

"To keep this man in custody an hour long[er]... is totally unconstitutional. They want to keep this man in custody because they don't have evidence against him," Kilian said.

There was previous speculation that Msimango might be released from police custody over the weekend due to lack of evidence.

Spokesperson for acting national police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane, Athlenda Mathe previously said Msimango has important information on where the 15 computers that were stolen from the chief justice's offices in Midrand were taken.

The computers are believed to contain sensitive information about South African judges.

Speaking to News24 from the Boschkop police station on Friday, Msimango denied all the allegations.

"I am willing to work with police in the investigation, but it would be hard as I don't know anything about it," he said.

Two other suspects appeared in connection with the case in the Mamelodi Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

They were charged with possession of illegal firearms and forged identity documents.

Msimango is expected back in court on Friday, March 31.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  judiciary

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