The six suspects (from left to right), Andani Monco, Kwanele Ndlwana, Siphosomzi Tshefu, Siphesihle Tatsi, Phumzile Mhlatywa and Phuthumile Mancoba, during their appearance at the Ngcobo Magistrate's Court on Thursday. PHOTO: ANA

NGCOBO - The six men that were arrested following the shooting of five police officers and armed robbery at Ngcobo police station, briefly appeared in the Ngcobo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Andani Monco, Kwanele Ndlwana, Siphosomzi Tshefu, Siphesihle Tatsi, Phumzile Mhlatywa and Phuthumile Mancoba allegedly stole police weapons including R5 riffles, pistols, ammunition and bullet proof vests during the robbery on February 21.

Police arrested the six men and killed seven others during the shootout at Mancoba Seven Angels Church on February 23. They also recovered police weapons that were stolen during the robbery. 

The six men are facing five counts of murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. 

During their court appearance on Thursday, State prosecutor Nomapha Mvandaba told the court that the investigation into the matter was completed and the docket was before the director of public prosecution for a decision.

Meanwhile, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, better known as the Hawks, said they were confident about the strength of the State's case.

"We are confident that our case is strong and the evidence we have collected attests to this." Feni directed further questions about the details of evidence to [the National Prosecuting Authority] NPA," Hawks provincial spokesperson, Captain Anelisa Feni said speaking after the men appeared in court. 

Ndlwana and Tshefu already implicated themselves and others during their bail application -- which they later abandoned -- by confirming that they were present when two police officers were killed close to Nyanga High School and three more at Ngcobo Police Station. They also confirmed their presence during an attempt to rob money from an ATM.

Five of the six accused are conducting their own defence while Phuthumile Mancoba would be represented by a Legal Aid lawyer. 

The case was postponed to July 27.

African News Agency(ANA)