Former Luthuli House employee Present back in court in May

Errol Velile Present
Errol Velile Present
Image: Supplied

The matter against a former Luthuli House employee who is facing charges in connection with a Dobsonville cash-in-transit heist has been postponed.

 Errol Velile Present, 33, and his three co-accused - Itumeleng Manama, 40, Bheki Biyela, 38, and Zakhele Zondi, 37 - were back in the dock at the Roodepoort regional court on Wednesday on charges of armed robbery, possession of a hijacked vehicle and attempted murder.

 The four made a brief appearance before their matter was postponed. 

Prosecutor Paseka Temeli requested that the matter be postponed as the state was still waiting for DNA results from samples lifted from the crime scene and the hijacked vehicle believed to have been used as a get-away car after the heist in July 2018. 

“At the moment we are still waiting for the DNA results from the laboratory and other aspects from the investigation. That’s why we are requesting the court to grant us a postponement,” Temeli said. 

The matter was postponed to May 13 for the DNA results and further investigations.

In September 2018, 33-year-old Present and his three co-accused were granted bail of R4,000 each. While Present has no previous convictions, the court heard during the bail application that there was a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear at the Orlando magistrate's court for reckless driving. His co-accused, however, all have previous convictions.

The four men were arrested on July 6 and 7 2018 and four hijacked vehicles were recovered. Present is no stranger to controversy after the Sunday Times linked him to a controversial farm in Limpopo. Sowetan's sister newspaper reported that then minister of land reform Gugile Nkwinti introduced this Luthuli House comrade‚ who was “shopping” for a thriving Limpopo farm‚ to one of his top officials at a land summit.

Just eight months after the meeting‚ the Bekendvlei Farm was bought for R97m and handed over to Present‚ who had been working at Luthuli House for more than 10 years‚ and his partner‚ businessman Moses Boshomane‚ to manage. A senior departmental official had prioritised the deal by bypassing required procedures. A day after the deal went through‚ Nkwinti was the speaker at Present’s lavish wedding.

Neither Present nor Boshomane had any ancestral claim to the farm. They also had no agricultural experience‚ the newspaper reported.

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