Cops have no evidence to link airport heist accused‚ court hears
Kyle Cowan | 2017-04-05 18:56:14.0
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’s Court on Wednesday reserved judgement in the bail application of the eighth man accused of being behind the daring R20-million cash heist at the OR Tambo Airport last month.
Cosmos Ntanzi‚ from Pietermaritzburg‚ will hear the outcome of his bail application on Friday‚ barring any further delays.
Ntanzi’s legal representative Advocate Welcome Nldovu told the court his client intended to plead not guilty to the charges of armed robbery with aggravated circumstances during the trial stage of the case.
Nldovu‚ reading an affidavit deposed by Ntanzi‚ said police had no DNA‚ fingerprint of video footage evidence linking Ntanzi to the crime.
“I challenge the state to produce evidence to link my client to the crime‚” Nldovu said.
The State argued that police had obtained a written account from Ntanzi following his arrest‚ detailing his involvement in the heist.
“The applicant asked police for pen and paper and proceeded to write‚ in Zulu‚ how he was involved. I submit he made this statement freely and of his own free will‚” said state prosecutor‚ Jacob Serebo.
Serebo said in this statement he had named others involved and explained he had dropped off one of the men at an Engen Garage. While driving in the car‚ the State said‚ Ntanzi was told of the planned heist.
He also allegedly travelled to KwaZulu-Natal‚ where he collected four Zimbabwean men and brought them to Johannesburg.
It is believed these men took part in the robbery and have yet to be apprehended.
“He gave the man R1000‚” said Serebo. “Police questioned him as to why he had not informed the authorities of the planned heist‚ and it is on that basis he could be charged as an accomplice. As the court knows‚ being an accomplice in a Schedule 6 offence such as this‚ bears the same penalties of that of a perpetrator or co-perpetrator.”
Ndlovu for the defence argued that by this submission‚ Ntanzi could merely be charged as an accessory before the fact.
“Does it mean that if one is told of a plan for a crime to be committed‚ you are now guilty of the same?” he asked.
Ntanzi‚ who told the court he earns R20 000 a month from his four metered taxis‚ will appear along with co-accused Sibusiso Job Mnisi‚ France Manaka and Thando Sonqishe on Friday‚ at which time it is expected that Magistrate Amulekani Msimeki will hand down judgement.
Meanwhile‚ also on Friday‚ the third accused‚ Simon Thlokwane‚ is due to launch his bail application.