Five out of the seven suspects who were arrested in connection with a foiled cash in transit heist attempt in Johannesburg last week Friday appeared at the Sebokeng Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The seven, Dumela Sikani (29) from Soweto, Tefo Kosha (48) from Soweto, Eric Khambule (49) from Sharpeville, Tshepo Ntsiki (32) from Tembisa, Alby Mthimunye (54) from Tembisa, Lolo Mabena (35) from Pretoria and Patrick Ngobeni (50) from Tembisa were remanded in custody until 18 June 2019 for legal representation.
The seven suspects were part of group of eight who were confronted by a multi-disciplinary team comprising of various law enforcement agencies including members from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department.
The gun wielding gang were allegedly spotted driving in five vehicles with false registration number plates, allegedly planning to execute a cash heist at Evaton Mall in the Vaal on Friday.
A chase ensued between the suspects and the team which led to a shootout and as a result one male suspect only known as “Katiba” died after his getaway vehicle crashed and caught fire in Sebokeng.
Katiba’s two criminal associates, Mabena and Ngobeni, survived the accident and were taken to hospital under police guard. They are still in hospital and were charged in absentia. Katiba’s real identity is still subject of an investigation.
The police seized two R5 Rifles and ammunition as well five vehicles. All seven suspects are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition as well as possession of suspected stolen vehicles.
The National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has applauded the swift action by different police agencies.
“The team from the Hawks that participated in planning the foiling and actions during the arrest shall gather further evidence for court. This shall include preparations for opposing bail to prevent the repetition of the activities of this organised criminal group,” said Lieutenant General Lebeya.