Durban – A cash-in-transit (CIT) heist accused has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for attempting to rob a cash van in oThongathi in 2020.
KwaZulu-Natal Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Simphiwe Mhlongo said that on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, the Verulam Regional Court sentenced Sicelo Zindela, 49, for an attempted cash-in-transit heist in oThongathi.
Mhlongo said that the sentencing emanates from December 10, 2020, when security guards were reloading cash in the ATM at one of the supermarkets when they were accosted by Zindela and his accomplices. They tried to grab a cash box and a shoot-out ensued. The accused fled the scene on foot and one of them was fatally wounded.
He said that Zindela was arrested by an off-duty police official and he was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Mhlongo said that a case of attempted CIT heist was reported at Tongaat police station and the case docket was allocated to the Hawks members from Durban Serious Organised Crime Investigation for intensive investigation.
“His bail was successfully opposed and he was remanded in custody until his sentencing,” Mhlongo said.
“He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for an attempted cash-in-transit heist, 10 years imprisonment for murder of his accomplice, three years imprisonment for possession of an unlicensed firearm and five years imprisonment for attempted murder.”
“The count of attempted cash in transit heist will run concurrently with the count of murder and the count of possession of an unlicensed firearm will also run concurrently with the count of attempted murder. Thus, Zindela will serve 20 years imprisonment,” Mhlongo explained.
Meanwhile, last Thursday, on May 18, the Mtubatuba Regional Court sentenced Sibongiseni Mkhwanazi, 37, to 18 years imprisonment for a CIT heist which occured in the Somkhele area in Mtubatuba.
On February 3, 2020, security guards were travelling from Nongoma to Richards Bay when they were ambushed by Mkhwanazi and his accomplices. They fired shots at the cash van until the driver stopped. They then robbed the security guards of their service firearms before using explosives to blow open the cash van.
The accused fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Mkhwanazi was arrested the following week.
Mhlongo said Hawks members recovered the stolen vehicle that was used during the commission of the crime. His bank accounts were frozen due to suspicious transactions and deposited cash will be forfeited to the state.
“Mkhwanazi was found guilty and was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for three counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances. He was further sentenced to seven years imprisonment for two counts of attempted murder, five years imprisonment for money laundering and three years imprisonment for possession of a stolen vehicle. His sentence will run concurrently,” Mhlongo said.
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