Six men, including police sergeants, were granted R5 000 bail each in the Tonga Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
They are accused of perpetrating a cash-in-transit (CIT) heist near Malalane in Mpumalanga in August. A seventh accused, Tanzanian national Ali Ebrahim, abandoned his bail application and police are hunting for another two suspects.
Among the accused are three police officers attached to the White River flying squad – Sunday Mashego, Collen Nonyane, and Bhekinkosi Goddi – as well as Bhekifa Ngwenyama, Lawrence Lubisi, and Musa Vilakazi.
In a joint media statement, the National Prosecuting Authority in Mpumalanga and the Mpumalanga Hawks said the court found exceptional circumstances that permitted the accused to be released on bail.
The hearing lasted 14 days, as the Mpumalanga Hawks opposed the bail application.
The six men were granted bail on condition that they be present for future court hearings and that they do not interfere with state witnesses.
The court further ordered the accused to report to their nearest police stations every Friday between 06:00 and 18:00, the statement read.
All of the men have been charged with five counts of attempted murder, three counts of stolen property, possession of firearms, possession of ammunition, malicious damage to property, possession of explosives, and conspiracy to commit a crime.
In a previous article, Lowvelder reported that the men were remanded in custody on August 28, following a shootout on August 11 during a robbery at One Tree Hill on the Malalane/Jeppes Reef road.
Nonyane and Mashego were arrested on August 17. Goddi handed himself over to police the following day, while Vilakazi, Ngwenyama, Ebrahim and Lubisi were arrested a few days later.
The matter has been postponed for further investigation and the accused will appear in the Malelane Periodical Court on December 6.
Provincial head of the Hawks Major General Nicholas Gerber said the investigation is ongoing and the team is pursuing two wanted suspects, Zola Martin Mnisi and Mpendulo Absima Hassane, who are sought as their fingerprints have been linked to the crime.
He said Mnisi could be linked to other serious crimes, such as a CIT heist and murder of a Fidelity security guard in a case in KaBokweni; and another CIT heist and murder of a G4S security guard in White River.
Gerber requested anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mnisi and Hassane to contact investigating officers Lieutenant Colonel Erhard Stroh on 082 300 8315 or Warrant Officer Albert de Lange on 071 481 2815.
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