No evidence yet linking suspects to Chief Justice burglary - magistrate

2017-03-30 15:29
Office of the Chief Justice spokesperson Nathi Mncube briefs the media on the break-in. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Office of the Chief Justice spokesperson Nathi Mncube briefs the media on the break-in. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Pretoria - There was no evidence at this stage linking Given Msimanga and Bigboy Yose to the burglary at the Office of the Chief Justice, the Mamelodi Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

The two were granted bail of R1 000 and would remain in custody until they had paid.

Magistrate Ignatius du Preez postponed the matter until May 10 for further investigation.

They were arrested on March 20, after 15 computers containing sensitive information about the country's judges were stolen from the HR department of the Office of the Chief Justice, in Midrand, two days earlier.

During their formal bail application, their lawyer Sammy Mahlangu read out affidavits in which they stated they were South Africans, living in Tsomo Street, Mamelodi, and were not flight risks.

In his affidavit, Msimanga, 20, said he had a previous conviction for robbery, but no pending cases. He intended to plead not guilty to the theft of the computers.

He questioned why he was the only one charged with possessing a firearm, because the weapon was not found in the house, and not on him. He asked why, of all the people in the house on the day of his arrest, it was assumed that the gun was his.

Yose, 37, admitted that he had been convicted of fraud, but said he had no pending cases. He too intended pleading not guilty.

Prosecutor Solani Baloyi read out the investigating officer's affidavit. In it he did not oppose bail and did not think the two were flight risks. He asked the court to order them to report to a police station on a daily basis.

'Willing to work with police'

Du Preez said Msimanga faced two counts of possessing an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, and Yose four counts for contravening the Identification Act because he was found with forged identity documents. The documents had his picture, but not his particulars.

Du Preez said there was no proof that that IDs and the unlicensed firearm were used in the commission of the crime.

"It appears as though, at this stage, there is no evidence linking these two to the theft at the Office of the Chief Justice. If there is, it has not been presented to this court."

On Monday, the alleged mastermind behind the robbery - Msimanga's brother Nkosinathi Msimanga - appeared in the Randburg Magistrate's Court. His case was postponed to Friday.

Spokesperson for acting national police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane, Athlenda Mathe, previously said Nkosinathi Msimanga had information about where the 15 computers had been taken.

Speaking to News24 from the Boschkop police station in Pretoria on Friday, Msimanga 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.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  judiciary

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