Ng­welezana kid­nap­per sen­tenced

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Or­rin Singh

FOL­LOW­ING an in­ci­dent of house rob­bery and kid­nap­ping com­mit­ted in Ng­welezana last year, a 29-yearold man was last week con­victed and sen­tenced.

Phum­lani Masinga ap­peared at the Em­pan­geni Mag­is­trate’s Court on Wed­nes­day where he was found guilty and sen­tenced to 15 years im­pris­on­ment for rob­bery with ag­gra­vated cir­cum­stances and a fur­ther five years on four counts of kid­nap­ping. Ac­cord­ing to King Cetshwayo Clus­ter po­lice spokesper­son, Cap­tain Mbon­geni Md­lalose, Masinga, to­gether with three other sus­pects – who are still at large – broke into a home in Ng­welezana in Novem­ber and stole a ve­hi­cle, tak­ing four mem­bers of a fam­ily hostage and leav­ing one be­hind.

‘At ap­prox­i­mately 11pm on 19 Novem­ber 2017, the ac­cused and his ac­com­plices broke in and woke the oc­cu­pants. ‘They had firearms and de­manded cash from the home­owner who told them she had no money. ‘They then de­manded the keys to her Toy­ota Hilux.

‘The sus­pects used ca­ble ties to re­strain the hands of all the vic­tims be­fore forc­ing the mother and her daugh­ter into the back of the Toy­ota, while two other vic­tims were taken in a sep­a­rate ve­hi­cle.

‘The sus­pects, in­clud­ing the ac­cused, did not wear any form of gear to hide their faces and drove the vic­tims in the di­rec­tion of Mti­mona, to­wards Nk­waleni.’

Ac­cord­ing to Md­lalose, the sus­pects are said to have been talk­ing on their phones dur­ing the drive, pos­si­bly try­ing to ar­range a buyer for the stolen ve­hi­cle or to in­form ac­com­plices where they were.

‘Af­ter a short while, they drove into a se­cluded area and in­structed the hostages to get out.

‘At this mo­ment the other ve­hi­cle ar­rived with the re­main­ing vic­tims.

‘Two of the sus­pects walked the hostages into nearby bush and in­structed them to sit down and not move, be­fore mak­ing off with the ve­hi­cle.

‘A short while later a po­lice pa­trol came across the vic­tims and took them to the Em­pan­geni Po­lice Sta­tion where a case had al­ready been opened by the fam­ily mem­ber who had been left be­hind,’ said Md­lalose.

The fol­low­ing day, po­lice in Man­guzi ar­rested Masinga af­ter he was found in pos­ses­sion of the stolen Toy­ota Hilux.

Sergeant Fik­ile Mfeka of the Em­pan­geni Ve­hi­cle Theft Unit was given the case to in­ves­ti­gate.

Ac­cord­ing to Mfeka, dur­ing the course of the trial, Masinga re­fused to pro­vide any in­for­ma­tion on his ac­com­plices, choos­ing to re­main silent even upon be­ing found guilty.

Mfeka said she was thank­ful to the Em­pan­geni pros­e­cu­tion team who as­sisted her in the case.

‘I would like to thank the pros­e­cu­tion, in spe­cific, Senzo Mag­waza who as­sisted in en­sur­ing that jus­tice was served in this mat­ter,’ she said.

In­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer, Sergeant Mfeka, tightly hold­ing the docket which con­tained all the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion per­tain­ing to Masinga’s ar­rest, charges and con­vic­tion Or­rin Singh

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