OR Tambo heist: Suspect allegedly gave names to cops

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

Johannesburg - A suspect in the OR Tambo International Airport heist provided police with names and cellphone numbers of his alleged accomplices still on the run, the Kempton Park Regional Court heard on Wednesday.

Philokuhle Ntanzi, 30 also acknowledged that he had contributed R1 000 towards the cost of carrying out the heist, prosecutor Jacob Serepo said.

Ntanzi is accused of robbery with aggravating circumstances. Serepo was opposing bail, Netwerk24 reports.

Ntanzi, of Naturena in Johannesburg, apparently earned R20 000 a month from his four metered taxis “before Uber penetrated the industry”.

He acknowledged in his bail application that he received a five-year suspended sentence for theft in 2003.

Ntanzi said the State had a weak case against him because they could not link him to the robbery. Police found no firearms or stolen money in his possession. His fingerprints were not found at the scene and he did not take part in an identity parade. Nor could he be linked to the robbery through ballistic evidence or video footage.

Implicated himself

The investigating officer, Colonel Mabina Samuel Mahlangu, said in a statement that Ntanzi implicated himself by acknowledging that he heard of the robbery when he gave another suspect a lift.

He contributed R1 000 to the robbery and gave police the names and contact numbers of suspects who were being sought.

Welcome Ndlovu, for Ntanzi, said his client did not implicate himself because in his police statement he never referred to that specific robbery.

Ntanzi never said at which airport the robbery had taken place, he didn’t provide any dates and he didn’t describe how the robbery took place. Ndlovu said the State didn’t know how Ntanzi profited from the crime.

“If he had given a statement to implicate himself, he would have given more details,” Ndlovu said.

Some of the contact numbers Ntanzi had supplied could not be verified.

Ndlovu said the State’s case was based on speculation and was not supported by any facts.

Not behind bars

Magistrate Amukelani Msimeki gave permission on Tuesday for advocate Oscar Macevele to react to the State’s statement against the bail application of Ntanzi’s co-accused, Prince Raphael Dube, 43.

This matter continues on Thursday.

Msimeki would rule on Friday in the bail applications of Thando Sonqishe, 39, Sibusiso Mnisi, 39, and France Manaka, 26. Simon Thokwane, 37, would apply for bail on Friday.

Their co-accused Mosiwa Mutame, 35 was not behind bars because he handed himself over to police.

A total of R20.7 million was taken during an armed robbery at the airport on March 7.

The charge against another accused, Khulekani Sibanda, was withdrawn about two weeks ago. 

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