Video identifies robbery accused

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

Muntu Mahlangu, 40, accused number six in the R46million FNB bank robbery trial, was the first suspect to be identified in video footage shown in the Johannesburg high court yesterday.

The footage, which is part of the state's evidence, was shown by First National Bank in-house investigator Andries Tienie van der Linden. He identified the first man to enter the crime scene, an FNB cash point, as Mahlangu.

Of the nine men standing trial, only four have appeared in the video so far. Mahlangu is seen quietly walking in a small passage separating cubicles where the staff are cashing up money.

He walks past the unsuspecting bank personnel and then disappears.

Minutes later, another man, also dressed in a security uniform, appears walking along the same passage.

As he reaches the last cubicle he jumps over a table and draws a gun. Now aware that they are being robbed, the bank personnel raise their arms.

Those close to the exit door attempt to flee, only to find a man wearing a white hat standing at the door with an R5 rifle in his hands. The man in the hat has been identified as Fabian Damons, 32, accused number two.

Mahlangu, who is unarmed, appears again and starts herding the staff into one cubicle. He instructs them to walk in a single file and lean against the wall.

They are then seen sitting against the wall with their heads bowed while another man wearing a balaclava and the man identified as Damons load the money into boxes.

Earlier Van der Linden had testified that panic buttons were pressed 16 times during the robbery but security did not respond.

That led the police to suspect that the robbery was an inside job.

The bank's security supervisor, Simon Mncwango, 40, was subsequently arrested.