'Robbers threatened to kill bank employees'

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

A witness in the FNB multi-million rand robbery told the Johannesburg high court yesterday that the robbers had threatened to kill staff.

Lowell Gina, an FNB employee, said that the robbers told them to do as instructed if they did not want to lose their lives.

"Jesus! Close your eyes because I know where you live," she said one of the robbers shouted at her.

She said another man pointed a gun at her and told her to leave the office and join other staff members on the passage.

"His face will always be etched on my mind. He had scars on his face and his nose standing up at the end," she said.

She identified the man as Vincent Xaba.

The visibly nervous Gina declined to go closer to Xaba when his lawyer asked her to show the court where the marks were.

"I can't go closer. I'm nervous," she said.

Xaba, who continuously took down notes, appeared not to have any marks on his face.

However, Gina maintained that on the day of the robbery there were marks on his forehead.

Xaba, 29, Elias Thutse, 34, Fabian Damons, 32, Daniel Mathaba, 42, Dick Ngobeni, 26, Jimmy Bilankulu, 37, Muntu Mahlangu, 42, Themba Mahlangu, 32, and Simon Mncwango, 40, are accused of robbing the bank's cash centre in Johannesburg of about R46 million two years ago.

The trial continues.