Airport heist case postponed

The Johannesburg High Court on Monday postponed the airport robbery trial until next Tuesday.

Twelve people, including one woman, stand accused of stealing a substantial amount of foreign currency from a South African Airways cargo plane at OR Tambo International Airport on March 25 2006.

The case was postponed because one of the accused was missing after reportedly being arrested for being in the country illegally. Meanwhile, the court was also still looking for a Herero translator.

Fifteen people were originally charged in the armed robbery case, but since then two had died of illness and another had skipped bail.

The accused are: Sean Soobramoney (33), Nazir Ishmail (40), Rokaaya Ebrahim (37), Magdalena Moonsammy (26), Ananias Nefumembe (39), Tijuanda Uakotela (37), Christopher Billings (39), Shikunwela Fox Sithole (31), Thokozani Ziqubu (35), Vusi Ndlangala (50), Uakere Maunda (35) and Vusi Khumalo (33).

Police are still searching for Msikize Magwaza (35) from Malvern in Johannesburg.

Magwaza, also known as Themba Ncube, failed to comply with his bail conditions and a warrant for his arrest had been issued, police spokesperson Superintendent Eugene Opperman said.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to contact 08600 10111.

After the airport robbery, another gang stole some of the recovered money from the Benoni police station in May 2006.

“The thieves who broke into a safe at the police station were never part of the gang who were allegedly involved in robbery at the airport,” said Opperman.

“They merely saw the opportunity to steal the recovered money for their own use.”—Sapa

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