An armed gang robbed Mayuri’s Jewellers in Phoenix in February 2018. Picture: Thokozani Mbunda

Durban - One of the eight men charged for the jewellery heist at Mayuri’s Jewellers in Phoenix in February 2018 has pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances. 

Ntokozo Sosibo, a father of two, has been jailed for 10 years on each count. He will serve an effective 10 years in prison. 

He was sentenced in the Verulam Magistrate's Court moments ago. 

The robbery took place on February 11, 2018. 

Employees Shantal Sommers, Ritha Dheonath and Rashika Rabine were assaulted and robbed of various jewellry to the value of R7 650 441. 

Another employee Yashika Sewnarain was robbed of two cellphones- a Samsung and a Huawei. 

In his guilty plea Sosibo said that on February 11 together with Thamsanqa Shange, Msizi Mkhwanazi, Luyanda Mhlongo and Sboniso Ndlovu arranged to hire a VW Polo TSI and Nissan Micra which were going to be used in the commission of the robbery offence. 

He said Siyanda Mhlongo had been driving the VW Polo. 

Sosibo said they proceeded to Chesterville and met Sibusiso Mbatha, Boni and others unknown to him. 

Sosibo admitted that each vehicle had five passengers and confirmed that both cars were going to be used in the robbery. 

He said Shange had been carrying a toy gun and Mbatha was carrying a gas pistol. 

Sosibo said when they arrived in Phoenix, all nine men entered the jewellery shop, except for Boni, who remained outside to keep guard. 

He said when they entered the shop the two accused carrying guns pointed it towards the complainants and demanded that they should lie down on the floor, which they did. 

"I admit that we thereafter started to force open cabinets where several jewellery was kept. 

"I took four trays of gold jewellery. I am not sure what the others took as there was nine of us in the shop. 

"Everything was done quickly and everything robbed from the shop was put into one bag. We thereafter started running out of the shop as quickly as possible. 

Sosibo said they were apprehended near Mandela Road near Phoenix Industrial Park in a shoot out with police. 

"Upon seeing the flying squad the driver of our car stopped the vehicle and we all alighted and started running in different directions.

"The police officials from flying squad started firing shots as we were running. I got shot on my leg and fell down.

After sustaining three bullet wounds Sosibo said he was placed under arrest and hospitalised under police guard for four weeks. 

He said he was remorseful for his actions which he knew were intentional and unlawful. 

Five were arrested on the same while three were arrest by Warrant officer Bob Pillay from the Provincial Organised Crime. 

The trial of the remaining 8 men is due to start in August 23. 

Police are still searching for 3 suspects.