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News, Accidents, Robberies & Incidents | National SA News | SAPS

5 May 2018, Pretoria: A gang responsible for an attack on a cash-in-transit van in Hennenman road near Welkom in the Free State has been handed life sentences by the Kroostad High Court on Thursday.

The 13 men gang aged between 30 and 39 years old were all found guilty of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravated circumstances, theft and possession of unlicensed firearms.

The brazen heist was carried out in August 2014. The armed robbers attacked a cash-in-transit vehicle and the Hawks Tactical Operations Management Section (TOMS) who had information about the planned robbery with the assistance of the SAPS Task Force members engaged the heavily armed group in a shootout.

During the exchange four of the robbers were fatally wounded. The teams managed to arrest thirteen (13) suspects on the scene, a large number of firearms and stolen vehicles were seized.

Lucky Nhlangulela (39), Seun Petrus Ntatakazi (38), Sekoja Edwin Mofokeng (39), Nhlanhla Mahlangu (36), Xolane Maliwa (37), Lerato Desmond Thato (37), Thabang Mokhohlane (30), Nthetelelo Ziphokuhle Myando (37), Zolile Bobby Magwa (38), Joseph Moeketsi Molefe (33), Teboho Floyd Molefe (36), Mduduzi Joseph Mhlambi (32) each were each handed four life sentences plus 87 years in jail whilst Chesley Mlawuza Mnisi (37) was sentenced to 164 years in imprisonment.

The Acting National Head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata has hailed the hefty sentences handed out to the 13 robbers.

"I am extremely pleased that another significant milestone has been reached in ensuring that we eradicate CIT (cash-in-transit) crime and bring the individuals involved to justice.

“Our investigations and collaborative efforts with other law enforcement agencies has yielded good results despite the fact the case took long to be finalised.

It is this eloquent diligence investigation that has enabled us to ensure that all the individuals involved in the robbery receive lengthy sentences.

“We have however been experiencing an upsurge of similar attacks of late in the country and we together with the SAPS are working hard to apprehend this dangerous groups that are bringing fear to our communities and attacking the cash services sector.

Our combined efforts are yielding good results where we have seen successful arrests and prosecution and of some the brazen criminals.

“We continue to make significant inroads which include the arrest and conviction of 9 suspects on 9 February 2018 to a combined (212) years imprisonment for a 2009 cash heist at Masizakle Community Hall in Addo for various charges.

“There was also a conviction of 13 suspects to a collective (479) years imprisonment on a number of charges for the 2014 Witbank SBV depot robbery.

“The sentence of a suspect for the ATM bombing in Howick to 9 terms of life imprisonment for murder plus 90 years. About 9 suspects were shot dead in a shootout with the Hawks and Task Force members in December 2016,” Matakata said

Lieutenant General Matakata said she hope that the sentence will send a strong message to those who intend on committing crime.

She said other serious cases will be enrolled in court soon where dangerous gangs were apprehended with high calibre firearms which among others include AK47s, R4s, R5s and commercial explosive tubes and detonators.

She has committed that the Hawks will continue to adopt best investigative acumen, to ensure that, those who commit acts of crime are put away for a long time.

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