Nobody was prepared to arrest alleged mastermind of SSA theft, court hears

2016-01-27 12:35

Pretoria - Nobody was prepared to arrest the alleged mastermind behind the theft of R17m from the State Security Agency when tried to hand himself over to police, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Matric Luphondo told the court that Albert Ramabele's legal team approached him in a bid to hand him over.

"The attorney did come to me and say they want to hand over the accused. I was forwarded all communications between the legal team and police," Luphondo said. 

Ramabele was arrested on Friday.

His lawyer, Sammy Mahlangu, told News24 last week that despite police releasing a photograph of his client, and posting a reward for information leading to his arrest, his attempts to hand Ramabele over were repeatedly ignored. 

Ramabele and Mahlangu showed a News24 reporter a series of text messages between police and the lawyer showing that he wanted to hand himself over.

He was granted bail of R10 000 on Tuesday. Marchand Kilian, standing in for Mahlangu at the time, read an affidavit in which Ramabele indicated that he had heard he was wanted in connection with the case following a confession by another accused in the matter, William Mmotong.

He said his wife and Mmotong, a driver, implicated him in the crime after they were shown CCTV footage. 

"I heard William Mmotong under interrogation made a confession about my involvement. I hope he explains what he means by that," Ramabele said in the affidavit.

His lawyers said nothing was found in his possession to link him to the crime. Luphondo responded that they had confiscated items which would be sent for forensic testing.

The case was postponed to February 18 for further investigations.

Three people were arrested in connection with the theft - Ramabele,  Mmotong, and security guard Khayalethu Mgatyelwa. 

Mgatyelwa was out on R5 000 bail. The court was expected to rule on Mmotong's bail application later in the day. 

The men allegedly stole millions from a safe at the agency's Pretoria headquarters between Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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