Robbery accused blames boyfriend

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A woman who is in trouble with the law for the third time now, claims her boyfriend threatened to assault her if she did not help him rob an Uber taxi driver.

Toni Bigger (26) of Hayfields and her boyfriend Sbangamandla Maphumulo (21) of Northdale appeared in the Pietermaritzburg magistrate’s court on Friday seeking bail.

They are alleged to have robbed Sitsha Khaya on January 27 in Woodlands. They allegedly throttled him and threatened him with a knife.

They allegedly stole R1 960 in cash and his cellphone valued at R2 000.

It is alleged that Bigger contacted the Uber driver who fetched her from her house. He then took her to her boyfriend’s house and fetched him.

The couple robbed him afterwards.

Bigger’s attorney, Renen Padayachee, told magistrate Nitesh Binessarie that her boyfriend is a “big” drug addict who has robbed other Uber drivers to feed his drug habit.

She said that he made her drive the Uber taxi while he held a knife to the driver’s throat.

Bigger also said that when police arrested her, she confessed to taking part in the robbery.

Padayachee also disclosed that she has two pending cases which were enrolled in November. One is for the theft of R2 000 and some items which include clothing and a hair weave.

READ | Arrests in Uber attack case

She was released on warning.

Later that month, she was charged with shoplifting where she allegedly stole items valued at R600.

She is out on R500 bail for this matter.

Maphumulo’s attorney said he is employed as a harvester. He handed himself over to police which should count in his favour.

She said Maphumulo has no previous or pending cases. However, when he was unrepresented previously, he said that he has one pending case of kidnapping and robbery.

The bail application had to be adjourned to allow Maphumulo’s attorney to consult with him about the allegations that his girlfriend has made against him.

The couple have been remanded in custody and the bail hearing will continue next week.

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