South Africa: Mamelodi School Robbery Accused to Apply for Bail

Three men arrested in connection with the robbery of international students at a pre-school in Mamelodi East in May, are expected to apply for bail later this month.

The accused, who are facing charges of robbery, assault and attempted murder, briefly appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Wednesday where their matter was postponed.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw Mjonondwane told News24 that the accused would formally apply for bail on July 25.

At their previous court appearance in May, the accused temporarily abandoned their bid for bail and the matter was postponed for further investigation.

On May 13, five gunmen entered the Viva Foundation School premises, after pretending to be part of the group of international students.

Once inside, they quickly took control of the school and proceeded to rob the 19 international students and two professors who were there to take part in an outreach programme.

During the robbery, one of the teachers was pistol whipped. The gunmen also shot a bystander.

The US students were robbed of their laptops, cellphones, cameras, passports, plane tickets, bags and US dollars.

Witnesses told News24 that the robbery was well planned and well executed.

"There were five to eight gunmen... a taxi with no number plates. When they came in, according to the witnesses, they moved with military precision through every classroom, clearing every classroom, doing sweeps," Viva Foundation chairperson Leon Kriel told News24.

"Also, their plan on getting into the actual village was brilliant, because we didn't know who was actually coming. We knew there was a bus coming in the morning, we knew there were Americans coming, but we didn't know what they looked like."

Less than a week after the robbery, police made their first arrest in connection with the incident at the Pienaarspoort informal settlement in Mamelodi East.

A second arrested was made Limpopo and a third in Mpumalanga.

Source: News24

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