KwaZulu-Natal armed robbers who tried to flee cops get lengthy jail sentences

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Armed robbers have been sentenced to prison.
Armed robbers have been sentenced to prison.
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  • Two KwaZulu-Natal armed robbers have been handed lengthy prison sentences.
  • Three of their accomplices were shot dead by the police when the incident occurred in 2017.
  • Among the items the police recovered from the men was a police radio.

Two KwaZulu-Natal armed robbers, who opened fired on the police during a high-speed car chase in August 2017, have been handed lengthy prison sentences in the Durban Regional Court.

On Wednesday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Sihle Zulu, 24, and Ayanda Thabethe, 29, were jailed for 49 years and three months and 61 years and three months, respectively.

NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said before the incident, the police received information that suspects "driving a particular motor vehicle planned to rob a petrol station in Nandi Drive [in Durban]".

"Police officials spotted the car and pursued it. Whilst in pursuit, the suspects shot at the police, and thereafter collided into a police motor vehicle and other vehicles."

Both Zulu and Thabethe were arrested, while their three accomplices were shot dead.

READ | Cele sends more cops to 'headache provinces' of Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal

The police recovered firearms and ammunition as well as various car and housebreaking implements, and a police radio.

They also discovered the vehicle used in the commission of the offence was stolen, Kara added.

Zulu and Thabethe were convicted and sentenced for the murders of their accomplices through common purpose, attempted murder, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, unlawful possession of live ammunition, possession of car-breaking implements, the unlawful possession of a police radio, a stolen vehicle and reckless and negligent driving.

"While the accused were sentenced to 49 and 61 years effectively, some of the sentences will run concurrently. Both men were deemed unfit to possess a firearm," Kara said.

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