Three armed robbers Sakumzi Ntando (52), Xolani Yeye (39) and Xolani Namba (41) were sentenced on Friday, 29 November 2019, in the Motherwell Regional Court.
They were accused of ten (10) counts ranging from the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 12 of 1998 (Pattern of criminal gang activities) to Robbery with aggravated circumstances as well as the contravention of section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act (Sexual offences and related matters) Act 32 of 2007.
The ten charges follows after 6 incidents of robbery, hijacking, rape and sexual assault took place during March 2014 on the R335 and R334 roads close to Motherwell where motorists were either forced to stop by herding cattle into the road or taking advantage when persons stopped next to the road. Once the vehicles stopped, the suspects armed with pangas, axes and fire arm smashed the vehicle windows. Victims were then taken deeper into the bushes where they were tied and forced to give their pin codes and bank cards. On returning after leaving to draw money at ATMs the robbers took the victim's personal belongings and vehicles too, leaving the victims tied in the bushes. In two very serious cases two female drivers were also raped and sexually assaulted.
All the vehicles were later recovered at various locations in Motherwell after it was found stripped of tyres, selected spares and radio's.
On 11 April 2014 all three suspects were arrested by the SAPS VISS unit, and joined by the Motherwell Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit. After 5 years of investigation and court cases, the conviction and sentencing finally brought finality to these cases and their victims.
On 29 November the Motherwell Regional Court sentenced the three accused as follows:
*Sakumzi Ntando was sentenced 8 years, 5 years, 4 x 15 years plus a Life sentence, of which the 8 years and one 15 years will run concurrently. (Total of 65 years plus Life)
*Xolani Yeye was sentenced 15 years imprisonment
*Xolani Namba was sentenced 10 years imprisonment
The Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie applauded the sentence and praised all the role players and detectives that ensured a lengthy jail term for these criminals. He also added that, "SAPS will perform all efforts to bring perpetrators of crime to book. Serious crimes are committed regularly against vulnerable victims and just as SAPS is eager to prevent crime, so we are equally dedicated to find, arrest and bring those heartless criminals before court to feel the full force of the Law."