king of bling back behind bars

ALLEGED crime kingpin William "Mashobane" Mbatha is back behind bars after being nabbed by police yesterday for yet another robbery.

ALLEGED crime kingpin William "Mashobane" Mbatha is back behind bars after being nabbed by police yesterday for yet another robbery.

His release on R15000 bail by the Germiston magistrate's court last week caused an outcry.

The outrage was sparked by the fact that the "most wanted" suspect in Gauteng was already on R50000 bail for other cases when magistrate Hasani Mashimbye set him free.

He was facing nine unrelated charges in the Pretoria magistrate's court, ranging from car theft and house-breaking to possession of an illegal firearm and tax offences, when he allegedly attempted another robbery in July.

But his freedom was short-lived. Crime Intelligence spokesperson Tummi Golding confirmed that Mbatha was arrested by the Germiston police at 11am yesterday in connection with an April 4 house robbery case.

Golding said: "One of his alleged victims saw his pictures in the newspapers and recognised him. This witness says he was pulled off the road by Mbatha and three other accomplices. Two of them got into the victim's car and drove to his house in Brackenhurst, Alberton.

"They stole two guns, a rifle, expensive jewellery and laptops."

Mbatha, 36, had gone to report to Detective Inspector Sathieseel Pillay, who is investigating one of his 10 cases as part of his bail conditions, when police pounced on him.

Called the "King of Bling", this Atteridgeville, Pretoria, man first made headlines when he was arrested in Johannesburg last month. He was bust for an alleged attempted robbery in Bedfordview on July 14 in which he is said to have produced a fake police ID card before trying to rob a man of R30000.

The court heard that after the botched robbery, Mbatha had slipped into a police car and fled.

Mbatha owns two BMWs, two Harley-Davidson motorbikes and two luxury houses in Centurion and Hartbeespoort Dam, among others.

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