Mbombela - Three former high school pupils who went on a robbing spree in Mpumalanga six years ago were each sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday.
Themba Mamba, 22, Sicelo Masina, 23, and Eddie Mnisi, 22, all from Masoyi near Hazyview, were arrested in August 2008.
The youths, who were in high school when the crimes were committed, had pleaded not guilty to three charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances and one of possession of an illegal firearm.
They were released into the custody of their parents.
On Thursday, Nelspruit Regional Court prosecutor Simon Mamabolo asked for direct imprisonment as the accused had shown no remorse during the trial, a Sapa correspondent reported.
Their defence lawyer asked the magistrate to give them a suspended sentence, saying they had not committed any offences since their arrest in 2008.
But magistrate Andre Geldenhuys handed down five-year jail terms for each.
“As all three of you have been found guilty on three counts of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances, direct imprisonment is the only suitable sentence,” Geldenhuys said.