Robbers get 20 year jail terms for R104m heist

Robbery: STOCK IMAGE
Robbery: STOCK IMAGE
Image: STOCK

Thirteen people who bagged R104.4-million in one of South Africa’s biggest cash heist have been sentenced to 20 years in prison in the high court sitting in Delmas.

“All are sentenced to 20 years direct imprisonment‚” confirmed National Prosecuting Authority provincial spokesperson Monica Nyuswa.

But accused number seven‚ Robert John Clack‚ who did not get bail‚ had his sentence reduced by three years.

The 13 were found guilty on Thursday of conspiracy to murder‚ robbery with aggravating circumstances‚ kidnapping‚ attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

The audacious heist was carried out in April 2014. The armed robbers arrived at an SBV Services depot in Witbank and introduced themselves as employees from head office as well as police officers who wanted to question staff at the depot.

As soon as the premises were opened they overpowered the guards and used an industrial drill to break into a safe and extract the cash. During the robbery some of the SBV employees were driven away and then dropped off some distance from the depot.

Among those found guilty was a former captain in the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks)‚ Bhekani Welcome Gcabashe.

He was arrested by the Hawks‚ assisted by the Special Task Force‚ at his home in Bronkhorstspruit early in 2015.

In that year‚ the Asset Forfeiture Unit seized cash and luxury vehicles from some of the suspects‚ including a Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG‚ a Range Rover and a Harley-Davidson‚ the Sowetan newspaper reported at the time.

In an earlier raid more than R3.5-million was found hidden in a workshop.

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