Justice at last as Durban cigarette truck hijackers sentenced to 15 years
Four men were sentenced on Friday by the Durban Regional Court for the 2015 hijacking of a cigarette truck.
Police said Sphelele Goodman Nene, 23, Menzi Mlamuli Mweli, 30, Handsome Nyoko, 24 and Thembinkosi Mwelase, 23, were convicted and sentenced on charges of armed robbery, possession of stolen property, and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
"The four men were each sentenced to 15 years in jail for robbery and five years for possession of stolen property. Nene was further sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for possession of an unlicensed firearm and a further two years for possession of ammunition," said police spokesperson Lt-Col Thulani Zwane.
Zwane said on November 4 2015 about 9am, the victim was driving his British American Tobacco vehicle at Burlington Road in Chatsworth, when he was approached by a group of men who had been travelling in a sedan.
"The accused threatened the victim with firearms and hijacked his vehicle. They then loaded the boxes of cigarettes into their vehicle and fled the scene. A case of hijacking was opened at Chatsworth police station for further investigation."
Zwane said stations and units around the Chatsworth area as well as the provincial organised crime unit were alerted following the hijacking and the description of vehicle used by suspects was given to them.
"The police officers spotted the hijacked vehicle at Mariannhill and a shootout ensued. Four of the accused were arrested and a firearm used during the robbery was recovered. The hijacked vehicle and boxes of cigarettes were also recovered," he said.