More nights in jail for seven men arrested for R8,000 Mpumalanga coins heist

Seven men in the dock

Seven men have been remanded in custody after they were arrested and charged for the August 11 cash-in-transit heist where money was stolen from a Fidelity vehicle in Mpumalanga. Picture: Hawks

Published Sep 6, 2023

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The Tonga Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga has postponed the bail application of seven men who were arrested for alleged links to the August 11 cash-in-transit robbery where R8,000 in coins were stolen from a Fidelity truck.

On Tuesday the court postponed the matter to Monday next week, remanding the seven arrested men in custody.

Spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) in Mpumalanga, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said the seven men want to be released on bail.

“The Hawks are opposing the application of the group of criminals. The case was postponed to Monday, September 11, for further cross-examination of the defence. All accused were remanded in custody,” said Sekgotodi.

Seven men have been arrested for alleged links to the cash-in-transit heist where this Fidelity van was attacked and money was stolen. Picture: SAPS

Four of the accused men are police officers who were arrested after police followed up on information regarding a SA Police Service (SAPS) Flying Squad vehicle that was transporting illegal firearms on August 17, in Malelane, Mpumalanga.

After their arrest, the four police officers joined the list of three suspects who had already been arrested for the same crime.

Sekgotodi said the four members of the SAPS are highway patrol police sergeants — Collen Suprian Nonyane, 44, Sunday Peace Mashego, 39, Sibusiso Musa Vilakazi, 38, and Bhekinkosi Stanley Godi, 39.

“During their arrest for possession of illegal firearms, one of the firearms was found to have been stolen from Malelane during the cash-in-transit robbery,” said Sekgotodi.

The four police sergeants have joined co-accused taxi driver Mosa Bhekifa Ngwenyama, 30, spaza shop cashier Malawian national, Ali Obi Ebrahim, 24, and 44-year-old Mfanasibili Lawrence Lubisi.

The Hawks said Lubisi works as a messenger for the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and is the homeowner at the premises where police seized several items, including two stolen vehicles, a Ford Ranger Wildtrak and a Mercedes-Benz ML350.

Last week, the Hawks in Mpumalanga said they have launched a manhunt to find an additional suspect linked to the August 11 cash-in-transit heist.

Sekgotodi said 29-year-old Zola Martin Mnisi, of Swalala Trust in Mpumalanga is allegedly linked to the heist.

The Hawks in Mpumalanga have launched a manhunt for 29-year-old Zola Martin Mnisi after the Nkomazi Magistrate’s Court issued a warrant for his arrest in connection to a heist. Picture: Supplied/Hawks

“The suspect was linked to a cash-in-transit robbery which happened in Malelane on August 11,” Sekgotodi said at the time.

On the day, Sekgotodi said an armoured Fidelity vehicle was travelling from Malelane towards Tonga when it came under attack from armed assailants.

“Approximately 15 kilometres from the N4, the armoured vehicle was rammed by a C-Class Mercedes-Benz. The armoured vehicle lost control and overturned. It was then bombed, and an undisclosed amount of money was stolen,” she said.

The money was destined for a business operating in Tonga. After the incident, the Hawks said the money stolen from the crime scene was R8,000 in coins.

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