- Three men have been handed combined prison sentences of more than 380 years.
- The men were arrested in connection with 25 cases, including robbery and murder.
- They were arrested after their accomplice was shot during a botched robbery.
Three men have been handed combined jail terms of 384 years in connection with a two-month crime spree in Polokwane. The men allegedly identified themselves as members of the Boko Haram gang.
On Monday, the Limpopo High Court found Ndou Lukase Rembuluwani, 29; Ndou Ben, 29; and Khoza Ngobeni Small, 28, guilty in connection with 25 cases which were committed in the Seshego and Westenburg policing areas in September and October 2017.
"The trio was among the group of criminals who were calling themselves 'Boko Haram', terrorising communities around the said areas by committing serious crimes that included murder, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, house breaking with the intention to rob, robbery with aggravating circumstances, malicious damage to property, theft and house robberies," said police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
"They were also convicted for contravening immigration laws for being in the country illegally," he added.
Among their victims were players from the Magesi Football Club who were robbed at gunpoint of their cellphones, soccer kit, shoes and clothes at the team's clubhouse on Wednesday, 18 October 2017.
Police arrested the men after an attempted robbery on Thursday, 19 October 2017 in which an accomplice was shot dead, allegedly by the victim. The next day, the investigating officer received a tip-off from a hospital, said Mojapelo.
"According to the information, the suspects sent their girlfriends to go to the hospital and check if their accomplice was brought in. The police immediately activated a snap operation consisting of detectives and Public Order Policing members. On arrival, they found the suspects' girlfriends, who led the police to Seshego, where the suspects were hiding," said Mojapelo.
The three men were arrested, and police recovered some of the stolen property.
The court ultimately sentenced the three accused to an effective 128 years' imprisonment each.
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