Robbers used old man to spot victims

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Pietermaritzburg - An elderly man was used to spot potential victims in parking lots and crowds for a robbery syndicate, the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard on Tuesday.

State witness Mondli Maphalala told the court that the spotter, Madija Mkhize, was a passenger in his car when he and another driver followed robbery victim Mthunzi Xulu to his house.

Xulu's son was shot dead and Xulu was shot in the chest by a member of the gang.

They had followed Xulu for about eight kilometres to his home after he withdrew R40 000 at the Maritzburg Mall to buy livestock and pay staff on December 31, 2011.

On that day the syndicate members had driven to Howick searching for victims.

When they realised that it was too quiet, they drove to the Maritzburg Mall where Xulu was spotted drawing the money in a bank.

Maphalala said the gang that robbed the Xulus each received about R6 000 when the stolen R40 000 was divided.

Lucky Shabangu, Sandile Khulu and Nkosinathi Ndlovu, all from Durban, appeared before Judge Isaac Madondo and assessors on Tuesday.

They have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Xulu's son Nkululeko, attempted murder of Xulu and aggravated robbery of father and son.

Shabangu and Ndlovu have also pleaded not guilty to charges of the unlawful possession of a semi-automatic pistol.

Its serial number was erased.

Maphalala told the court that the gang habitually kept watch where people drew money.

Often people would put the money into a briefcase or similar and lock it in their cars while they went about their business.

The gang would break into the car, steal the money bag and anything else of value then make a quick get-away.

The trial continues.

Sapa


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