3 OR Tambo Airport heist accused get bail

The accused in court. (Cornél van Heerden, Netwerk24)
The accused in court. (Cornél van Heerden, Netwerk24)

Johannesburg – Three men, including a policeman, accused of involvement in the OR Tambo International Airport heist, were granted bail of between R50 000 and R100 000 by the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Magistrate Amukelani Msimeki said the three had proved exceptional circumstance existed to be granted bail. 

France Manaka, 26, received bail of R50 000. Manaka is a vault supervisor for Guard Force International‚ a private security company that specialises in moving high-risk cargo.

His bail conditions required him to report to the nearest police station on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, Saturdays, and Sundays between 06:00 and 18:00. 

Simon Thokwane, 37, was granted bail of R100 000. Thokwane is a constable in the SAPS‚ stationed at the airport. He allegedly showed his co-accused access points and helped them observe the movements of security guards and police.

Msimeki said Thokwane's bail conditions prevented him from leaving Gauteng without the investigating officer’s written permission. He had to report to his nearest police station daily from Monday to Friday, and twice on Saturday and Sunday. 

Cosmos Ntanzi, 30, was also granted bail of R50 000. He owned four metered taxis. He allegedly gave one of the robbers a ride to petrol station. En route, the robber allegedly told him about the heist before it happened. Ntanzi had to report to his nearest police station five times a week.

Co-accused granted bail 

On Monday, the court granted bail to their co-accused Sibusiso Job Mnisi, 39, Prince Raphael Dube, 43, and Thando Sonqishe, 39.

Mnisi‚ a maintenance worker at Guard Force International‚ was granted bail of R50 000. Dube was granted bail of R150 000 and Sonqishe R100 000. They are both businessmen.

A court official confirmed that Sonqishe paid his bail on Monday, while the other two intended to pay it on Tuesday. 

The seventh suspect, Mosiwa Mutame, 35, was released after he handed himself over to police.

The State alleges they were involved in stealing R20.7 million in banknotes, from Standard Bank, at the airport on March 7. 

According to the Airports Company South Africa, a marked police bakkie and a white car, both with sirens wailing and blue lights flashing, drove into a secured entrance of the airport to steal the money. No shots were fired and nobody was hurt.

The matter was postponed to May 26.

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