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Cape Town man sentenced for Eastern Cape Absa bank robbery

The men pretended to be clients at the Absa Bank. File Photo: Supplied by Absa Group.

The men pretended to be clients at the Absa Bank. File Photo: Supplied by Absa Group.

Published Nov 14, 2023


A Cape Town man has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for his part in a brazen bank robbery by the Gqeberha Regional Court.

Sinako Magi, 33, from Khayelitsha in Cape Town entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with the State.

He is currently already serving a prison sentence for an unrelated matter.

Magi was arrested in Cape Town while investigators were probing another matter and he confessed to the robbery as the only crime he committed in the Gqeberha area.

The provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks), Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said Magi was apprehended by the Gqeberha National Priority Violent Crime team, a division of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team.

Mgolodela said the bank robbery took place on November 22, 2021, when two men entered the Absa Bank branch in Govan Mbeki Street in central Gqeberha.

Magi identified his accomplice only as Sibusiso.

The duo are alleged to have pretended to be clients.

“The friend wrote a letter that stated that the cashier was to hand over the money she had available at the till, or she would be shot. They entered the bank and Magi took the seat on the waiting chairs directly in front of the till point, while his friend approached the teller,” Mgolodela said.

“The friend handed over the note, with the threat written on it, to the teller and the teller complied and gave over R27,000. They then left the premises and shared their loot, spending some of it at nearby taverns.”

In his agreement with the State, Magi minimised his role in the bank robbery and stated he was only a lookout and was to ensure the operation ran smoothly.

He did not divulge further details of his friend, Sibusiso.

Senior State Advocate, Benedict Wilson urged the court to sentence Magi to a lengthy jail term and said the sentence should serve as a deterrent as bank robberies were a serious prevalent crime that had the potential of bringing the economy of the country to its knees.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Eastern Cape, Barry Madolo commended the prosecutor and the investigating team for ensuring justice prevailed.