They smashed their way into the house, took vehicles and books, but left the booze and valuables.
Their target was the home of the lawyer acting in a matter against controversial police crime intelligence boss Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli, and on behalf of Tokyo Sexwale.
The lawyer also represents suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.
On Sunday, Joburg advocate Muzi Sikhakhane and his family were left shaken by the burglary at their Northcliff, Joburg, home, which took place while the family were at church.
“These people read and they don’t drink,” said Sikhakhane, concerned that the gang targeted him to access his clients’ case documents.
The gang managed to get over the high walls topped with an electric fence, then smashed open the electric gate motor to disconnect the motor and manually open the gate. They smashed open the heavy wood and metal garage door – apparently unconcerned at the noise – and headed into the house.
Someone was in the house, but hid after hearing the noise of the break-in. That person heard the gang head straight upstairs and to the back of the house, where Sikhakhane’s study is.
Although they searched other rooms and took two TVs, they ignored other valuables and alcohol.
Instead they apparently spent most of their time in the study, rifling through Sikhakhane’s desk, and taking books and papers. His computer was hidden, so they missed that.
Then they picked up the keys for two vehicles, a Range Rover and a Golf, and drove off in them.
Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said both vehicles were later found abandoned in Mamelodi, near Pretoria. Nothing else was recovered and no arrests were made.
Ndou would not speculate on a motive or the possibility that Sikhakhane was targeted because of his legal work. “We don’t want to draw inferences which are unsubstantiated.”
Sikhakhane and his family were shocked by the violence of the break-in, as the gang had to buckle the heavy garage door to get in. They made such a noise that a neighbour heard them and phoned Sikhakhane.
“They were not hiding their entrance,” he said.
He was also concerned about his study, books and papers being targeted, as it is at the back of the house.
“There is no sign that it was an ordinary burglary. They must be very literate thugs,” he said.
Sikhakhane said most of his clients were controversial. “My job is to represent anyone who approaches me.”
Mdluli was suspended last year following murder charges being lodged against him, and later fraud and corruption charges.
A few weeks ago, the charges were dropped and he was reinstated.
Sexwale took action against Mdluli after Mdluli accused him of being involved in a plot to overthrow President Jacob Zuma. After Mdluli was reinstated, Sexwale was reported to have said he would continue his case against Mdluli. - The Star