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Security guard implicated in fiery death of3 colleagues

By unknown | Mar 29, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Frank Maponya

A security guard planned and took part in a foiled cash-in-transit heist in which three of his colleagues were burnt beyond recognition.

Pheladi Mabitsela, 26, was an employee of security company SBV when the attack took place in Limpopo on September 30.

Four security guards, who were transporting money to Lephalale, died in the attack. Three were burnt to death when their cash van was set on fire.

Sowetan is reliably informed that Mabitsela attended the funeral of one of his late colleagues.

The 11 accused appeared in the Mokopane regional court yesterday. The court heard that Mabitsela planned the robbery with his friend, Wilson Malesela Manaka.

Prosecutor JP Marais said Mabitsela supplied information to his co-accused about the route the SBV vehicle would use.

The bail application of two of the accused was postponed to today to allow their legal representative, Hendrik Potgieter, to study a ballistics report, which arrived during the court proceedings yesterday, and to prepare for the bail application.

Potgieter represents Alpheus Msiza, 30, and Kenneth Moitshela, 35.

The other accused are Emmanuel Tshepo Malebo, 34, Molefe Jose Malebese, 47, Elia Malusi Masemola, age unknown, Jim Ngobeni, age unknown, Mabitsela, 26, Manaka, 36, Manuel Baros, 36, Asser Ndjamba, 35, and Antonio Ndala, 40.

The state yesterday withdrew its case against Masemola and Ngobeni.

Magistrate AP van der Kooi said there was insufficient evidence to link the two to the crime.

The case against the remaining seven was postponed to April 25 because their legal representatives said they were not ready to apply for bail.

The accused are charged with four counts of murder, two of attempted robbery, two of theft of motor vehicles, and two of possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

They allegedly followed the SBV cash van to Lephalale from Polokwane.

They allegedly attacked the guards along the Baltimore-Marken road.

A Mercedes Benz car, allegedly stolen in Akasia, Pretoria, was used to crash into the cash van, forcing it off the road.

The security vehicle rolled several times with the guards on board.

It landed on its sliding side-door, making it impossible for the robbers to get into the van and to the safe.


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