'Robin Hood' jailed for 30 years for stealing over R10m

2015-11-17 22:12


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Mbombela - Mpumalanga's self-confessed Robin Hood has been handed a hefty 30-year imprisonment sentence for stealing more than R10m from his employers and attempting to kill an accountant.

Wade Morgan Williams, 30, was sentenced when he appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Tuesday.

He was arrested on April 4 this year while driving a Discovery 4 he had stolen from the world-famous Londolozi Game Reserve.

During his arrest on the Riverside R40 route in Mbombela, police confiscated cash, a computer and the vehicle in his possession.

He pleaded guilty to six charges including theft, attempted murder, kidnapping, vehicle theft, arson and malicious damage to property.

On Tuesday, he said his acts were justified.

"I stole the money to distribute to the [Londolozi] labourers as they earn very little. The economic system in this country favours a few individuals while the majority are suffering," Williams told the court.

He said the Londolozi employees had no land rights and lived in unfinished houses.

"Clean water is scarce, while the company controls large amounts of water. I'm tired of watching people living under these difficult circumstances. Our government is failing to provide infrastructure and services. A total of 21% of orphans live on the streets. Good people and non-government organisations stand by and are doing nothing," he said.

The accused said his intention was to transfer the money to the accounts of the suffering. He did not mean to hurt anyone, but to address the imbalances in society.

‘A fallen angel’

Senior State prosecutor Isbet Erwee said the accused's story was not credible.

"The accused did not plan to be any Robin Hood, but was a fallen angel with a year of planning in advance to commit the crimes. He planned the offences as early as 2013. He applied for a firearm, had weaponry in his rented place, a lock picking tool, a samurai sword, a dagger with blades and a bow and arrows. He opened a bank account at Absa and other accounts where he had transferred the money," Erwee said.

She said Williams kidnapped colleague Dave Damper, handcuffed him and injected him with alcohol.

"He planned to kill the victim and throw his body in a crocodile-infested dam... He is a violent person and a danger to society," she said.

Magistrate André Geldenhuys said Londolozi had been contributing to the community for 35 years.

"You did not think as an intelligent man and if you did, you could have made a contribution to the community. You were driven by greed and insecurity... Your intentions were never to distribute the [money] to the poor. Your intention was to wipe clear all evidence, to an extent destroy the company and to flee the country eventually," Geldenhuys said.

He sentenced Williams to 15 years for theft, 10 years for attempted murder, five years for kidnapping, eight years for vehicle theft, five years for arson and five years for malicious damage to property with several of the sentences running concurrently. The sentence translated to an effective 30 years in prison.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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