The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has welcomed the lengthy prison sentences handed to seven robbers for conspiracy to commit a cash-in-transit heist at Protea Cash Depot in Welkom almost eight years ago.
On Wednesday the Bloemfontein High Court, sitting in Kroonstad, found the seven accused guilty of murder, armed robbery with aggravated circumstances, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearms ammunition.
The suspects were arrested in 2011 while on their way to commit a cash-in-transit robbery. The Special Task force was activated around the premises and the suspects were accosted upon arrival.
A shootout ensued between the robbers and the members resulting in one suspect being fatally wounded and another one was injured. The team managed to arrest the other 6 remaining suspects and confiscated their firearms in the process.
Litshikana Maponya (53) from Midrand, Cedric Earl Heyns (47) from Johannesburg, Tshepo Kennedy Madiba (37) Manube Valley Pretoria, Bonke Michael Zulu (46) from Midrand, Andrew Manganye (65) from Diepkloof Soweto, and Thabang Joseph Madumo (33) also from Dipekloof Seweto were each sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for armed robbery and 10 years for attempted robbery.
Xolani Goodman Mashomane (47) from Vosloorus and also confined to a wheelchair following the shootout with the police was sentenced to an effective 18 years imprisonment for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
Lieutenant General Lebeya has hailed the conviction and sentences as a milestone in the fight against cash-in-transit heists robberies despite the long drawn-out court process.
“This case has taken eight years to reach a conclusion. Although one would have preferred a speedy conclusion to this case. I am adamant that the conviction and sentence will send a strong message to potential robbers that the law will eventually catch up with them,” said Lieutenant General Lebeya.