The Carletonville Magistrate’s Court has sentenced 42-year-old Vusi Freddy Mbele to 12 years of direct imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to charges of robbery.
Of the 12 years jail term, the court suspended half, for five years, according to Colonel Katlego Mogale, Gauteng spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks.
“He was also found unfit to possess a firearm. After all the insurmountable evidence was presented to the defense, the accused (Mbele) decided to plead guilty. Effectively, Mbele is to serve six years behind bars,” said Mogale.
“This (sentence) emanates from a case of aggravated robbery that occurred on 10 December 2020 at Edura in Carletonville.”
Mogale narrated that in the robbery incident, G4S security guards were collecting money when they were accosted by three assailants. The three men robbed the G4S security guards and got away with an amount of R83,820.
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“The Hawks’ serious organized crime investigation team’s meticulous investigation linked Mbele to the crime through fingerprints. Mbele was identified by the investigation team on another Carltonville case of armed robbery of gold at Blyvoor Mine in Carltonville, together with other suspects via cellphone records,” said Mogale.
With the assistance of Johannesburg-based Hawks’ serious organized crime investigation team, Mbele was arrested and charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition which were found on him during the arrest.
“He is currently serving time at Johannesburg prison and is attending court on three other matters. He is also wanted by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in Free State for a mine robbery and in North West for a cash-in-transit robbery,” said Mogale.
Mbele was sentenced in 2012 but was released on parole.
Meanwhile, Gauteng provincial head of the Hawks, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa has welcomed Mbele’s conviction and the sentence.
Kadwa also commended the “outstanding work” conducted by the investigation and prosecution teams.
In August, Police Minister, General Bheki Cele released the crime statistics for the first quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year.
The data, which covers April to June 2023, offers a glimpse into the state of crime in South Africa.
At the time, IOL reported that carjackings and robberies at non-residential areas had decreased, but home robberies remained a headache.