Bid to get convicted killer lesser sentence

2016-05-09 11:00

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Pietermaritzburg - The Pietermaritzburg high court has been urged not to impose life imprisonment on one of the three men convicted last week of 23 crimes including five murders arising from the foiled heist at Capitec bank in Richmond in January 2014.

Attorney L.M. Phungula said on Frriday that his client, Siboniso Mpanza is only 22 years old and urged the court to give him an opportunity to be rehabilitated and “become a reformed member of society”.

However, in reply to questions by the court he confirmed that in spite of his conviction on 23 serious charges Mpanza continues to maintain he is innocent.

Mpanza is unmarried but has two children. At the time of his arrest on the day of the incident he was studying welding at a college in Inanda, where he lives, the court heard.

The court will hear submissions from legal representatives for Mpanza’s co-accused, Thulani Doncabe and Sandile Shongwe of Umlazi today.

State advocate Candy Kander told the court she intends to lead evidence in aggravation of sentence by victims of the offences and statistics about police murders and cash in transit robberies.

Shongwe, who fired his advocate moments after he was convicted last week, did not yet have an attorney on Friday but undertook to represent himself if he has not hired someone new by today.

Doncabe, Mpanza and Shongwe stand convicted on 23 charges including the murder of a G4S security guard, Sicelo Phungula and murder of a policeman, Sergeant Thamsanqa Zondi.

They are also convicted of the murders of three members of their gang who were shot dead during ensuing gun battles in the wake of the attempted robbery at Capitec Bank which was abandoned after the cash box they snatched imploded, staining the money inside with dye.

The judge found that the trio formed a common purpose with the gang to commit the robbery and all the related crimes such as the attempted murders of several civilians who were wounded when caught in gunfire in the street outside Capitec bank, and attempted murders of other police officers who joined in to pursue the fleeing robbers.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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