Robbers sentenced

...lengthy prison terms for murder and armed robbery with aggravating circumstances as well as possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

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The Bulltetin Newspaper

18 January 2018 Four robbers received lengthy sentences while one is still at large.
The Palm Ridge High Court has on 18 December 2017 sentenced John Mokhele (47), Mphumelelo Biyana (40 ), Sifiso Mbhele (44), and Mandla Phanyeko (43) to lengthy prison terms for murder and armed robbery with aggravating circumstances as well as possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
On the evening/afternoon of the 1st September 2010, at Kinross Mpumalanga, a group of about twelve armed suspects stormed into three business premises and committed the robberies, they took valuables which included firearms, cash and jewellery. They also assaulted the victims before they fled the scene with a get-away vehicle.
The police attempted to intercept the vehicle near Devon and the suspects started shooting at the police who retaliated and returned fire fatally wounding six suspects, six suspects managed to escape. They were later traced to Springs where five suspects were apprehended.
While being arrested, they shot and fatally wounded a (35-year old) motorist whom they tried to hijack in an attempt to escape.
One suspect managed to get away at this stage.
Further investigations by the Hawk’s Serious organised crime unit led the arrest of the outstanding suspect and the recovery of numerous firearms, which included R5 rifles and hand guns.
The group was sentenced as follows;
John Mokhele received 81 years imprisonment of which he is to serve 22 effective years.
Nqcobo died during trial. The accused was out on R10 000.00 bail and committed another armed robbery where he was shot and fatally wounded.
Siphiwe Mbonani (39 ) was convicted on all charges but the accused never returned to court for sentencing, a warrant of arrest has been authorised for his re-arrest.
Mphumelelo Biyana was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment of which the accused must serve effective 20 years.
Sifiso Mbhele was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment of which he has to serve an effective 20 years.
Mandla Phanyeko was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment of which the accused will serve effective 20 years.
Members of Secunda Hawks requests all citizens of the Republic of South Africa to assist with information which can lead to the arrest of Siphiwe Mbonani who is still at large.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Investigation Officer, Detective Warrant Officer Jacob Ras of Secunda Hawks @ 0824620760
The Acting Provincial Head of the Hawks Mpumalanga Brigadier Obed Ngwenya expresses his appreciation for the outstanding performance rendered by the investigating officer. In addition, Brig Ngwenya also expresses his appreciation for the contribution of the 88 witnesses who testified willingly