Airport robber 'not happy with her share'

AN OR Tambo International Airport employee, who was part of the March 2006 R100million robbery, complained that the R1,2million she received was too little.

Nazir Ishmael, one of the robbers who turned state witness, told the Johannesburg high court yesterday that Rookaya Ebrahim called him a few hours after the heist and told him she "was not happy with what she got".

"She told me she had converted the dollars into rands and found that they were worth R1,2million. She said that was too little," Ishmael said.

He said he asked her "to calm down and they would sort it out later".

Ishmael and another former Acsa employee, Sean Soobramoney, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and were given a 20-year suspended sentence.

Fox Sithole, Eddie Ubisi, Ronny Mbuyisa, Ananias Nefumembe, Uakareraije Maunda, Thokozani Ziqubu, Vusumuzi Dlangalala, Cecil Arendse and Christopher Billings have pleaded not guilty to charges, among others, of armed robbery and theft.

Ishmael said he had fetched the loot and shared it with Rookaya.

This was after he had received a call from Soobramoney, who gave him two plastic bags with money at the Lakes Hotel in Benoni, Ekurhuleni.

"One bag was for Rookaya and the other was mine. I was too nervous to open the bags. I called Rookaya to meet me at the Glenwood Hospital.

"She came with her husband. I handed over her share and before driving to a friend's place in Benoni and asking him to keep the money for me. At no stage did I open the bag," he said.

The trial continues.