Greedy robbers slammed

A High Court judge lashed out at four men convicted of attempting to rob a cash-in-transit van of R2.5-million four years ago.

He said their actions were prompted by greed before sentencing each of them on Friday to more than 100 years and a life term.

Judge Jan Cillie said Khethani Nkabinde, Jabulani Makhene, Orapeleng Mogoje and Aubrey Dikobe were motivated by greed because they were self-employed before the robbery.

Nkabinde was sentenced to life imprisonment and 152 years, while Makhene Mogoje and Dikobe were sentenced to life and 147 each in jail.

The four men were part of a heavily armed gang who ambushed two security vans before fleeing empty-handed.

Their cars rammed into a Fidelity Guard vehicle that was transporting R2.5-million and another van that was escorting it near Petrusburg in the Free State on August 8 2008.

Six guards in the two vehicles were robbed of their weapons, ammunition and cellphones.

The gang used a grinder to try and open a safe but failed. They then tried to bomb it and still failed. At that stage the police responded, forcing the robbers to flee empty-handed.

The gang fled in different directions with different getaway cars. Nkabinde, Makhene, Mogoje and Dikobe were arrested in Bultfontein, more than 70km from the crime scene.

Pieter de la Rey, who was driving near the scene with his son, was shot and killed by the gang.

During the trial Makhene, Mogoje and Dikobe claimed they were on their way to Upington, Northern Cape, to buy vehicles and spare parts for their businesses.

Nkabinde, Makhene, Mogoje and Dikobe, who were fleeing in an Audi Q7, were stopped by a police helicopter after a gun battle.

- ntwagaes@sowetan.co.za

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