Arrested trio not linked to chief justice burglary: lawyer
Sipho Mabena | 2017-03-22 16:12:46.0
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The three men arrested after being ‘linked’ to the burglary at the Office of the Chief Justice were surprised to discover their sudden notoriety.
The men‚ Given Msimango‚ 20‚ Bigboy Jose‚ 37‚ as well as Joshua Msimango briefly appeared in the Mamelodi magistrates court but the state refused to prosecute Joshua Msimango for lack of evidence.
Their lawyer‚ Sammy Mahlangu‚ said he could not understand how the accused were linked to the burglary at the Office of the Chief Justice.
None of the charges on the charge sheet point to their involvement in the burglary in which 15 computers were stolen from the Office of the Chief Justice in Midrand.
“These guys have nothing to do with the break in at the Chief Justice office. You can see the charge sheet‚ there’s nothing about computers‚” Mahlangu said.
However‚ it appears their DNA might be the answer to why they were associated with the crime.
Police announced they are searching for a man named Nkosinathi Msimango‚ who Mahlangu confirmed is Given and Joshua Msimango’s brother.
Acting national police commissioner‚ Lt-Gen Khomotso Phahlane‚ told a media briefing on Wednesday morning “three men were arrested linked to the break-in at the offices of the Chief Justice to enable further investigation into the matter”.
Phahlane called on Nkosinathi Msimango to come forward after interviewing the arrested trio revealed that he had “critical information required to resolve the crime and the recovery of the stolen IT equipment”.
“The South African Police Service is calling upon Mr Nkosinathi Msimango‚ who was in the vicinity of Mamelodi on the day of the arrests and who has valuable information and insight into the commission of this crime to approach the investigating officer and/or report at the nearest police station to assist in this case‚” Phahlane said.
Given Msimango is facing two counts of possession of unlicensed firearms and 36 rounds of ammunition while Jose is facing four counts of possession of fraudulent identity documents bearing his photograph.
Mahlangu said the accused stay in the same house in Mamelodi and police went to the house on information that there were computers there.
“They searched the house but there were no computers. They found the identity documents and one firearm. The other firearm was not found in the house but somewhere else. That is what my clients have been arrested for‚” he said.
Mahlangu said he will take up the matter with the police.
Even the investigating officer was baffled by the media spotlight on the accused.
“I am confused why there are so many journalists‚” he said.
Msimango has a previous conviction for common robbery and Jose has a previous conviction for fraud.
Msimango and Jose were remanded in custody until March 30 for a bail application.
– TMG Digital/The Times