Yet another delay in heist case

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

The absence of a Herero interpreter has led to the high-profile OR Tambo International Airport R100million cash heist court case being postponed yet again.

Herero is a language spoken in Namibia. Another factor was the absence from court of two of the accused.

Sean Soobramoney, 33, Nazir Ishmail, 40, Magdalena Moonsammy, 26, Ananias Nepfumembe, 39, Tijuanda Uakotela, 37, Christopher Billings, 39, Fox Sithole, Thokozani Ziqubu, 35, Vusi Ndlangala, 50, Uakere Maunda, 35, Msikize Magwaza, 35, and Vusi Khumalo, 33, are accused of stealing the money out of a cargo plane at OR Tambo Airport on March 25 2006.

Initially, 15 people were arrested in connection with the country's biggest cash heist, but Rookaya Ebrahim, 37, earlier pleaded guilty and the matter against her had since been finalised.

Magwaza and Khumalo were yesterday missing from court. A warrant of arrest had earlier been issued for Magwaza. Police claim that they have still not been able to find him.

Khumalo's lawyer said his client was at Lindela detention centre after he was arrested for being in the country illegally.

Two other accused - Themba Phutitsi, 34, and Tebogo Nhlapo, 31, - have since died.

Sithole was also involved in an October 2006 robbery by a group of armed men on the Mvoti toll-plaza in KwaZulu-Natal.

Presiding Judge Mohamed Jajbhay was angry that the trial, set for two months, could not resume.

He told the court that "justice must roll as people wanted to carry on with their lives".