Cops in full force at ATM bombing trial

Pietermaritzburg - Heavily armed police escorted 10 men, suspected to be part of a syndicate that orchestrated ATM bombings and robberies across KwaZulu-Natal, to the Pietermaritzburg High Court court on Monday.

While eight of the men are legally represented, two of the accused still have to apply for legal aid. A trial date was expected to be set today.

The accused face a total of 31 charges, including the murder of Pietermaritzburg dog unit member, Constable Vidhur Jadoo, and two civilians in Utrecht.

They face charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, theft, malicious injury to property, contravening the explosives act and unlawful possession of firearms, including machine guns, ammunition and explosives.

The crimes were committed between September 28, 2012 and January 13, 2013.

The ATM bombings include the incident in Howick where Jadoo was gunned down in November 2012, and the bombings in Greytown where R500 000 was stolen from two ATMs in January last year.

The men, Thembela Ngubane, Menziwa Mlakuze, Sifiso Malakane, Sifiso Khubeka, Sibusiso Msibi, Sphelele Dubazane, all of Bergville; Siphiwe Masuku of Ladysmith and Muthikabani Buthelezi, Mthenjwa Buthelezi and Lungisani Dladla, of Mtubatuba, indicated at their bail application last year that they would plead not guilty to the charges.

They were arrested in Jozini on January 13 last year.