Cape Argus (Cape Town)

19 July 2010

South Africa: St George's Mall Shootout Accused Gets Bail

One of the men arrested in connection with an armed robbery in St George's Mall and the subsequent shootout in the city centre has been released on bail of R2 000 by the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

Prosecutor Silvino Pillay said on Friday that the State was no longer opposing the release of Tshepo Solly Makoena, as his Ga-Rankuwa home address in Pretoria was confirmed. The court requires a fixed address as one of the conditions it considers in granting bail. Pillay suggested bail be fixed at R2 000.

It is alleged that Makoena and his co-accused, Prins Thabo Marobane, armed with illegal firearms with the serial numbers filed off, held up two people in the Waldorf Arcade in St George's Mall, robbing them of an undisclosed sum of money.

The robbery was followed by a midday shootout involving the police's tactical response team, who were on patrol when shots went off.

Makoena was shot in the leg during the June 9 incident.

Makoena's lawyer, Josua Greeff, told the court Makoena had in fact been convicted of being in possession of stolen property in 2004.

Greeff submitted that Makoena would plead not guilty to charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, four counts of attempted murder, two of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, pointing a firearm and discharging a firearm in a public place. Greeff said Makoena did "not have propensity to commit crime" and that once he returned home, would work at his mother's spaza shop.

The court also heard that Makoena was engaged to be married and had two children, aged six and 12.

Makoena was released on condition that he report to the Ga-Rankuwa police station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am and 8pm, and also participate in an ID parade to be held in Cape Town at a date not yet determined.

The State would continue to oppose Marobane's release, said Pillay, as a Joburg case that was withdrawn against him may be reinstated.

He said police needed time to evaluate the status of that case.

Marobane's bail application was scheduled for July 28.

A third suspect, believed to have been waiting in a silver-grey VW Golf getaway vehicle, is still at large.

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