Expert testifies in Moyo sentencing

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Independent Newspaper Limited

Bongani Moyo at the Pretoria High Court. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Pretoria - A forensics expert testified in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday for the aggravation of sentence in the case against Zimbabwean duo Bongani Moyo and Khumbulani Sibanda.

Former policeman and member of FNB’s branch protection and investigative unit, Andries Marthinus van der Linde, said he had analysed video footage during bank robberies against photographs of the pair taken by police after their arrest.

Moyo and Sibanda were in court on Wednesday for their sentencing procedures. The pair pleaded guilty on Monday to a raft of charges including armed robbery and possession of firearms.

Van der Linde told the court he concluded that the accused before the court were the people involved in the robberies.

“That man seen in the picture in a jacket is that accused person sitting in this court in a blue shirt,” Van der Linde said, pointing at Moyo. He was reading from a bundle of documents presented to the court as evidence.

He however said some of the perpetrators seen in the videos working with Moyo and Sibanda were not in court. The gang seen in the footage had a modus operandi similar to the one Moyo and Sibanda had confessed to using.

A third person would always stand guard at the banks' entrance, stopping patrons from leaving and entering while the robbery was in progress.

Van der Linde said he could identify that third person as Thabani Sibanda.

Moyo and Sibanda were initially charged together with Leon Ncube and Thabani Sibanda.

Moyo and Khumbulani Sibanda entered a plea bargain deal with the State. They submitted sworn statements admitting to the 15 charges brought against them.

Ncube and Thabani Sibanda would go on trial on August 12.

On Monday, the pair said they executed the robberies with other people known only as Max, Nxo, and another unidentified man known only to Max. On Thursday, Van der Linde told the court that Thabani Sibanda was part of the robberies.

The gang robbed branches of the country's major banks. Moyo and Khumbulani Sibanda said that before committing the crimes they watched the movements of customers at the banks and discussed ways of escaping after the robberies.

The banks they robbed included the Roodepoort branch of Absa, the FNB branch in Gezina and the Standard Bank in Hatfield, both in Pretoria, and a Nedbank branch in Rustenburg.

The two said it was not their intention to kill anyone and they had not shot at people. They only used 9mm pistols to intimidate staff and patrons in banks. - Sapa


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