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Cape Town - The man convicted of robbing Western Cape Finance MEC Alan Winde of his iPhone has been sentenced to an effective eight years in jail.
Cape Town Regional Court magistrate Wilma van der Merwe sentenced Xolani Dyidi to 10 years in jail for armed robbery. Two of them were suspended for five years.
Van der Merwe said Dyidi’s criminal record showed that he had a complete disregard for people, their possessions and the criminal justice system.
The court heard last month that Dyidi, 25, of Khayelitsha, had four previous convictions including malicious damage to property, assault, house-breaking and theft.
Dyidi was last convicted of theft in August, just three months before Winde was robbed while cycling in Paarden Island.
Dyidi was convicted of aggravated robbery for taking Winde’s iPhone at knife-point on November 2.
Winde and his bodyguard, Warrant Officer Ollof Hendry Nicholson, were cycling in the BRT lane when he saw two men standing in the cycle lane.
As he approached, Dyidi accosted him and he fell to the ground. Winde’s iPhone was snatched and Nicholson gave chase.
While Dyidi was arrested within an hour after the incident the other suspect got away.
“That road is for the BRT bus system. It is supposed to be the flagship of how good a public transport system can be and then you go ahead and do stuff like this,” Van der Merwe said.
She said similar crimes made up 72 percent of the total number of cases before her in 2012.
“This crime is very, very prevalent is this court’s jurisdiction,” Van der Merwe said.
By law, Dyidi faced a minimum penalty of 15 years in jail for aggravated robbery but if he proved that substantial and compelling circumstances existed, the court could deviate from the prescribed minimum.
“So far I have found very little mitigating factors and only aggravating factors. But one cannot disregard that armed robberies come in different degrees of seriousness,” Van der Merwe said.
This crime was on the lower end of the scale for armed robberies, she said.
What also counted in Dyidi’s favour was that Winde was not harmed during the robbery.
“The place where the robbery was committed and how it was committed deserves a long period of imprisonment. Your previous convictions also came into play when deciding on a sentence,” Van der Merwe said.