THE Gqeberha High Court sentenced four cash-in-transit robbers to more than 100 years jail on Wednesday, 7 September.
Sonwabo Gcuwa (39), Lusanda Ludziya (35), Nontuthuzelo Majola (37), and Sithembile Qhongoshani (35) were facing three counts of attempted murder, one of robbery as well as possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Hawks spokeswoman Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said the sentences followed an incident that occurred on 2 May 2018, where two Fidelity guards were collecting cash at Sasol garage in Linton Grange, Gqeberha.
They were pointed with firearms by three black men as they exited the garage.
“Suspects took the money boxes and a firearm of one of the guards, then fled in a white Toyota Quantum. The vehicle was later spotted and chased by the Gqeberha K9 and Algoa Park police,” Mgolodela said in a statement.
She added that a shoot-out ensued at the corner of Ditchling and Chase drive in Algoa Park, where suspect Malibongwe Balojeni (27) was fatally wounded.
“The guard’s firearm was recovered at the scene, and another one next to the deceased and two cellphones. A bystander, who was driving a passing truck, also got shot in the buttocks and one police official in the leg. The rest of the suspects escaped.”
Mgolodela further said the Gqeberha Hawks’ serious organised crime investigation team, together with the national priority violent crime task team, launched a manhunt.
The investigation led to the arrest of Gcuwa, whose confession led to that of Ludziya and Majola, a security guard from Fidelity, on 16 May in the same year.
The last suspect, Qhongoshani, was arrested in September through further investigation.
Mgolodela said all four were remanded in custody for the duration of the trial.
“Gcuwa and Ludziya were given 65 years each, and Majola 10 years of direct imprisonment sentence for robbery. Qhongoshani was given 30 years direct imprisonment for robbery and three counts of attempted murder combined, with no option of a fine,” Mgolodela added.