The Regional Court in Mokopane had on Thursday, 27 February 2020, passed harsh sentences against three men who were part of crime syndicate linked to business robberies that were committed in several stores around Mookgopong and Modimolle policing precincts during the year 2016.
Kagiso Brian Difeto aged 32, Ralph Mashilo aged 33 and Josia Boshielo aged 40, were found guilty on charges ranging from business robbery, possession of unlicensed firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, unlawful possession of jamming device inside a vehicle and receiving a stolen vehicle
The accused targeted cellphone stores and attacked staff members in the mornings just after opening the stores. They would then order them to load cellphone gadgets into large bags before driving off in their escape vehicle. The cellphones were sold at various places in Limpopo and Gauteng provinces.
The suspects' robbery spree ended in August 2016, when two of the accused were arrested after information was received about the vehicle used in the commission of the crime, just after they committed business robbery at Mookgopong. Another suspect was apprehended through an intelligence driven operation.
The cases were assigned to Detective Warrant Officer Ross Rossouw of Modimolle SAPS and through his diligent work, the suspects were convicted and ultimately sentenced. All suspects were in custody since their arrest in 2016.
The sentences were passed as follows:
Kagiso Brian Difeto was sentenced to 10 years for each of the three counts of business robbery. The sentences will run concurrently. He will therefore serve 10 years direct imprisonment.
Meanwhile, his two accomplices Ralph Mashilo and Josia Botshielo, were each sentenced as follows:
Count 1 - Six years imprisonment for receiving a stolen vehicle
Count 2 - Eight years imprisonment on each of the three counts of possession of unlicenced firearm
Count 3 - Four years imprisonment for unlawful possession of ammunition
Count 4 - One year imprisonment for unlawful possession of a jamming device inside a vehicle.
Count 2, 3 and 4 will run concurrently, meaning both accused will serve 14 years direct imprisonment.
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, has applauded the members for their dedication and commitment.