Sibusiso Job Mnisi was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, Prince Rafal Dube got 25 years and Frans Mathabatha Manaka was sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
Initially there were eight accused in the case after they were arrested in connection with the heist. However, the NPA later withdrew charges against four of the men, while one of the eight was acquitted.
The NPA welcomed the sentencing. “We are happy with the sentence as it reflects the seriousness of the criminal justice system in fighting violent crimes like cash-in-transit robberies, more especially robberies that happen in our national key points like OR Tambo airport, as these crimes have adverse effects on our economy,” said NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwana.
While the NPA said the sentencing was fair, it also noted that crimes of this nature were putting strain on country’s unemployment rate.
“These [crimes] are likely to scare away investors which then also put a strain on our employment rate. As a country we have high unemployment rates and new jobs cannot be created if these robberies continue unabated,” Mjonondwana added.
The case was also being investigated by the Hawks, who made a breakthrough after they received a tip-off that a police vehicle which had been used to carry out the cash heist, had been recovered outside Pretoria. The vehicle, a Toyota bakkie, was found abandoned north of the city.
“The judge remarked that he could not impose a sentence in excess of the minimum prescribed sentenced as there were no people killed during the commission of the offence, but still pronounced that these kind of crimes are viewed in a very serious light,” said Mjonondwana.