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High Court slaps Kranskop robbers with 265 years

While fleeing from the scene of the robbery, the robbers reportedly fired several shots as they passed the police station. Kranskop SAPS mobilised all available police units and also called in assistance from neighboring stations.

Sentencing of nine men in the Durban High Court proceeded on Wednesday this week where it was heard that the convicted robbers would spend a total of 265 years in prison.

It was heard in court how the group of nine men had terrorised employees at a Kranskop business in 2017.

According to the information, at 8am on July 7 of 2017, the group of heavily armed men entered a supermarket and approached the manager.

“At gunpoint they stole an undisclosed amount of cash, cigarettes and airtime vouchers. They also robbed the manager of his pistol before fleeing the scene in four getaway vehicles,” said Provincial SAPS communications officer, Captain Nqobile Gwala.

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While fleeing from the scene of the robbery, the robbers reportedly fired several shots as they passed the police station.

Kranskop SAPS mobilised all available police units and also called in assistance from neighboring stations.

The joint effort led to a large-scale operation being launched to track down the suspects.

“Ground forces were also assisted by a police chopper. A massive air and ground operation resulted in positive results when the robbers were found hiding in several houses at Kwadolo in Msinga. Nine men, including four who were allegedly shot and injured during the shootout with police, were arrested,” said Captain Gwala.

Both the goods and the firearm stolen during the robbery were recovered.

An AK47 rifle, a shotgun and three pistols were also seized.

It was later established that of the four vehicles used in the commission of the crime, three had been reported stolen.

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The sentences handed out to the convicted robbers were as follows: Khehla Makhathini, Khulekani Mthembu, Mduduzi Mkhize and Khayelihle Ndlovu were sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.

Nkululeko Mthembu, Khayelisha Ngubane, Syabonga Ngubane and Sandile Shezi were sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment while Xolani Makhathini was sentenced to 45 years’ imprisonment.

The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula has commended the investigating team for seeing the case through to the end.

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