Group of 13 to be sentenced for R104m Witbank cash heist

Thirteen people who bagged R104.4-million in one of South Africa’s biggest cash heists will be sentenced on Friday.

The High Court sitting in Delmas‚ Mpumalanga‚ convicted the 13 on a raft of charges on Thursday‚ including conspiracy to murder‚ robbery with aggravating circumstances‚ kidnapping‚ attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

The audacious heist was carried out in April 2014 when a group of armed robbers arrived at an SBV 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 left some distance away.

Among those initially arrested was a former captain in the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks)‚ Bhekani Welcome Gcabashe‚ 48.

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‚ Sowetan reported at the time.

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

National Prosecuting Authority provincial spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said the NPA welcomed the judgment and “applauds advocate Hein van der Merwe and his team for the job well done”.

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