Four cash-in-transit robbers handed heavy prison sentences

The criminals who robbed two Fidelity guards at a Sasol Garage in Linton Grange in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape have been handed heavy prison sentences.

Sonwabo Gcuwa, Lusanda Ludziya, Nontuthuzelo Majola and Sithembile Qhongoshani – all in their mid-30s – appeared at the Gqeberha High Court on Wednesday for three counts of attempted murder, one of robbery, and possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Gcuwa and Ludziya were given 65 years behind bars each, Majola got 10 years direct imprisonment for robbery, and Qhongoshani was condemned to 30 years in jail.

The Hawks spokesperson in the Eastern Cape, Captain Yoliswa Mgolodela, said: “On the day of the robbery [May 2 2018] the guards were pointed with firearms by three black males as they exited the shop.

“The suspects took the money boxes and a firearm of one of the guards and fled in a white Toyota Quantum mini-bus. The vehicle used in the robbery was later spotted and chased by the Gqeberha K9 [dog unit] and Algoa Park SAPS members,” said Mgolodela.

“A shootout ensued at the corner of Ditchling and Chase Drive in Algoa Park, where one suspect, Malibongwe Balojeni, 27, was fatally wounded. The firearm robbed from the guard was also recovered at the scene, as well as another firearm lying next to the deceased. Two cellphones were seized as well.

“An innocent bystander, who was driving a passing truck, also got shot in the buttocks and one police official from Algoa Park was hit in the leg. The rest of the suspects escaped.”

Mgolodela added that the Gqeberha serious organised crime investigation team and the national priority violent crime task team embarked on Project Dynamics which hunted down the culprits.

“The intensive investigation led to the arrest of Gcuwa, whose confession led to the arrest of Ludziya and Majola, the security guards from Fidelity cash transporting company on 16 May 2018. Meanwhile, Qhongoshani was arrested on 7 September 2018 through further investigation,” she said.

The convicts had been kept in police custody for the duration of their trial.

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Bongani Mdakane

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