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Suspect in robbery of US students in court

A 30-year-old Mamelodi man fingered in the robbery involving American exchange students will have to wait until next week Monday to hear if he will be granted bail
COURT GAVEL A 30-year-old Mamelodi man fingered in the robbery involving American exchange students will have to wait until next week Monday to hear if he will be granted bail
Image: STOCK IMAGE

Laptops, iPhones, sneakers and about R30,000 in SA and US currency is what robbers made off with when they attacked a group of foreign students in Mamelodi.

The Mamelodi magistrate's court heard that these items as well as passports and plane tickets were taken from 18 American exchange students and two professors in the township a week ago.

The students and professors were on an outreach visit at the Viva Foundation School when they were ambushed by five gun-wielding robbers before getting away with their valuables.

One of the alleged robbers Service Maimela was arrested on Friday, four days after the robbery, and appeared briefly in court yesterday.

The students, attached to the University of Pretoria, make regular visits to the school which is situated in one of the most impoverished parts of Mamelodi.

Prosecutor Andre Vermeulen detailed some of the items taken during the robbery which include a pair of Nike sneakers, cash in US currency and about R6,000.

"We are still waiting for nine other victims to come forward and identify their personal belongings. We further need to conduct an identity parade and to verify the accused's address and to await the arrests of the other suspects," he said.

The matter was postponed to Monday for further investigation, the conducting of an identity parade and for bail application.

During the robbery, a teacher was pistol-whipped and a resident struck by a stray bullet in the hand as the suspects fired shots while fleeing the scene.

Gauteng police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said they were hot on the heels of outstanding suspects.

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