‘Thugs’ assaulted OR Tambo heist accused’s sister‚ court hears
Kyle Cowan | 2017-03-31 13:27:28.0
Five men appear in Kempton Park Magistrate’s court in connection with a cash heist at OR Tambo airport. File photo
Image by: Kyle Cowan
The Kempton Park Magistrate Court on Friday heard that “thugs” had approached the sister of one of the OR Tambo heist accused‚ demanding she tell them where his “cut” of the money was being kept.
39-year-old Sibusiso Job Mnisi‚ the fifth accused arrested by the Crimes Against the State unit of the Hawks just 10 days after the heist‚ appeared in court and submitted an affidavit as evidence to support his formal bail application.
In the affidavit‚ he claims his sister was approached and assaulted at her Mpumalanga home by persons claiming to be police officers‚ demanding to be told where the cash from the heist was being kept.
Mnisi was employed by Guardforce International‚ a private security company that specialises in moving high risk and valuable cargo‚ as a maintenance worker stationed at the airport.
“My client denies in the strongest terms having any involvement in the crime‚” said Mnisi’s lawyer‚ Nkateko Mngadi.
“Police called me while I was at work‚ and said they wanted to ask me questions about a colleague who was suspended‚” Mngadi said‚ reading from Mnisi’s affidavit.
“On my arrival I was told I was being placed under arrest.”
Mngadi further argued that the state had no tangible evidence to link her client to the crime.
But senior state prosecutor Pieter Erasmus hit back‚ saying that Mnisi had confessed to the police officers who arrested him.
“The accused‚ Sibusiso Mnisi‚ gave a confession to police about his own role and that of his co-perpetrators. He provided cell phones to one or more of the other accused that were used during the commission of this crime‚” Erasmus told the court.
“He furthermore has threatened one his co accused to stop cooperating with police. Due to this‚ and the seriousness and the gravity of the charges against him‚ the State argues that it would not be in the interest of justice to release him on bail.”
Mngadi said she could not argue the accusation that her client had threatened other co-accused‚ as there was no evidence before the court in support of submissions by the court.
The state argued extensively in its opposition of bail.
Judgement has however been reserved until April 4‚ at which time Mnisi will appear alongside his co-accused as they too apply for bail.
– TMG Digital