ATM bombings accused deny charges

2016-02-02 10:49
Electronic banking channels have to be secure. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Electronic banking channels have to be secure. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - The trial of 10 men accused of bombing several ATM machines in KZN and other charges including the murder of a policeman, got under way in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday.

All 10 accused pleaded not guilty before Judge Yvonne Mbatha and two assessors to a total of 31 charges including murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, causing explosions, malicious injury to property, attempted murder, theft and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

They elected to remain silent about the basis for their defence.

The group is alleged to have been part of a syndicate responsible for setting off bombs at a number of ATMs in KZN between September 28, 2012 and January 13, 2013 and of stealing cash sums ranging from R115 000 to R855 000.

The bombings took place in Nottingham Road, Howick, Merrivale, Greytown and Utrecht.

They are charged with murdering local police constable Vidhur Jadoo (37) in a shoot-out in Howick on November 7, 2012, as well as the murders of two civilians — a woman, Bongokuhle Nkosi, and a man, Sizwe Gule, at Utrecht on December 5 last year.

According to the state’s indictment, Jadoo was killed when the policemen pursued a bakkie with ATM bomb suspects in the Howick area.

The chase started on the Howick/Tweedie road and continued on the N3 in the early hours of the morning. During the chase the attackers fired at the police whose vehicle was hit numerous times by bullets.

Jadoo and a member of the SAPS Dog Unit, Livingstone Mpangase, were shot.

Jadoo died of a gunshot wound to his brain, while Mpangase was seriously injured.

The two civilian victims were killed when the bombers struck a Caltex Garage in Utrecht, holding up employees at gunpoint and robbing them of cash and cigarettes. They also bombed the ATM and took R115 050 in cash. Nkosi and Gule, were shot dead after stopping their vehicle on the road near the garage.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  court

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