No bail for alleged ‘boiling water’ gang

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Pietermaritzburg - Two men accused of the brutal assault and robbery of a Cramond family have been refused bail.

Magistrate Rod Stewart found that the degree of violence committed during the assault on the family, which included a two-year- old boy, was excessive, and that this alone was grounds to deny the suspects bail.

Supporters of Mvusi Dlamini, 26, of K-section in Umlazi, and Lucky Mbonambi, 28, of Reunion in Isipingo, expressed their unhappiness with the judgment handed down in the New Hanover Magistrate’s Court this week, shaking their heads and mumbling obscenities as they exited the courtroom.

Dlamini and Mbonambi are charged with the armed robbery and assault of a family in the Albert Falls area in April.

A third suspect, Siyabonga Mchunu, declined to apply for bail.

The investigating officer, Swami Pillay, of the Serious and Violent Crimes Unit, testified in opposition to bail, revealing that the police were still hunting four others involved in the attack.

Two other suspects who have been arrested are co-operating with the State.

Dlamini, Mbonambi and Mchunu are alleged to have been part of an armed gang that stormed Ahmed Lakhi’s home on a Cramond farm. The family had visitors at the time of the attack.

It is alleged they tortured the family and robbed them of items including handbags, firearms, jewellery and cellphones, worth about R168 000. Cash was also taken.

They have been charged with two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, six counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and seven counts of fraud, as well as theft of a vehicle and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

The fraud charges arise from the use of a petrol card stolen from the Lakhi family.

Mchunu is alleged to have identified the family as targets to his gang of accomplices.

At an identity parade after his arrest, the victims identified Dlamini as their primary torturer, who assaulted them and poured the boiling water on them.

Dlamini and Mbonambi said that they intended pleading not guilty to the charges against them, and have denied any involvement in the offences.

The magistrate, however, found there was a likelihood that the accused would evade their trial, if granted bail. He also said the State had a very strong case.

The matter has been adjourned to July 20. - Daily News

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