2008-01-17 : Heist gang bail shock

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2008-01-17 : Heist gang bail shock

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2008-03-07 07:07

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1 ... 675C746408

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on January 17,

Of the 11 robbers shot dead in a foiled cash heist last month, two were
wanted by police and five were awaiting trial.

Police have finished profiling the brazen gang and discovered that one of
the robbers was awaiting five separate trials for armed robbery.

Yet, somehow, he was allowed to take part in the daring heist outside the
Carousel Casino on December 11.

Another of the robbers shot dead by police that day was awaiting four
trials, for murder, attempted murder, child theft and illegal possession of
firearms, while one had been acquitted for bank robbery in 2001.

The gang tried to rob a Protea Coin cash van on the intersection of the R101
and Maubane Road, north of Pretoria.

Officers from the Special Task Force, Hi-Tech Unit and Organised Crime Unit
hid in mealie fields around the intersection and surprised the gang as they
went on the attack.

The robbers opened fire and police officers fought back.

After the shooting ended, just one gang member survived, and no officers
were injured.

Bodies were scattered for a kilometre, and paramedics reported that robbers
dying en route to hospital were praying for death.

Now, just over a month later, investigators have profiled the gang members -
who had strapped muti to their bodies.

Despite early reports that some were police officers, this has been
disproved by fingerprint tests and family members identifying the men.

Photos of the bullet-riddled windscreens of police cars indicate that the
robbers were out to kill.

The gang's arsenal included 11 weapons, comprising four AK-47s, one R-5
rifle, one shotgun and five pistols. One of the AK-47s was balancing on the
back of a bakkie for precision shooting.

The serial numbers were filed off and police seized 137 AK-47 rounds, nine
shotgun rounds and 52 9mm bullets the robbers never got a chance to use.
Three vehicles were used in the foiled heist.

Among the robbers slain was Mduduzi Ngubane (25), who was awaiting trial for
murder (2005); two cases of illegal possession of firearms (2006 and 2007);
child theft and attempted murder (2005); and he had another case of
possession of illegal firearms that had not yet made it to trial (2004).

Another was Patrick Ndlovu (25), who had escaped from custody and was
awaiting trial for robbery (2005) and four cases of armed robbery at casinos
(between 2005 and 2007).

If the justice system had functioned properly, these two men would never
have had the chance to square off against the police last month.

One of the robbers, Decent Ncube (22), was awaiting trial on two cases of
casino robbery, both in 2005.

The sole survivor of the bloodbath is still recovering at Pretoria West
Hospital and is due in court on January 31. Because of his injuries, the
26-year-old has not had his fingerprints tested yet.

In total, the seven slain robbers had 15 cases in courts, but it is unclear
whether all had received bail or had escaped from custody.

Police spokesperson Director Sally de Beer said: "The fact that a number of
the gang, when they ambushed the van, were already awaiting trial for
serious and violent offences is cause for concern.

"The SAPS will work closely with our counterparts in the criminal justice
system to endeavour to ensure that violent criminals, once arrested, are not
merely 'recycled'."

On July 26 last year, The Star reported how the man arrested for the
hijacking of Tokyo Sexwale's wife Judy had been out on bail for armed

At the time, Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula's spokesperson,
Trevor Bloem, said: "It is of great concern to us that suspects charged with
serious offences such as aggravating robbery, murder and rape, and who have
been let out on bail, from time to time again get arrested by the police for
committing similar offences
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