Durban -

The suspected robbers who allegedly made off with half-a-million rand from NFP leader Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi’s home in Durban North on July 30 thought they had hit the jackpot - even taking pictures of bundles of cash on a cellphone before going on a spending spree and making deposits into family bank accounts.

Five of the suspects, including a Mozambican domestic worker and her boyfriend, have been arrested and police are searching for a sixth person.

Immediately after the robbery Felix Khawuleza allegedly deposited R29 000 into his brother’s account while Sifiso Khumalo bought clothes and shoes.

Those arrested are Khawuleza, Khumalo, Sifiso Dube, domestic worker Amina Vasco and her partner Lindani Mhlongo.

They appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Being fingered as the masterminds are Vasco, Mhlongo and Khawuleza. The latter two have made applications for bail but on Tuesday Vasco withdrew hers.

They face charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances and housebreaking.

The investigating officer, Detective Krishen Pather, told the court police had evidence of a cellphone conversation and text messages between the suspects during the planning stages of the robbery in June.

 

When the court asked for clarification, he said Mhlongo and Vasco started planning the robbery after a friend of KaMagwaza-Msibi dropped off R150 000 at the house when the politician wasn’t home.

 

To cover Vasco’s (alleged) tracks in the big robbery the thieves held her and KaMagwaza-Msibi’s daughter, Gugu Gumede, 22, at knifepoint before making off with the loot.

The detective testified that he had admissions from all the suspects.

There was also a fingerprint and DNA evidence linking Khumalo to the crime.

 

A security guard, who was part of the plan, has turned state witness and Pather said he feared he would be harmed if Mhlongo and Khawuleza were released on bail.

 

The case was adjourned to Thursday

.

The Mercury