Cash-in-transit heist accused, former ANC employee Present granted bail

Former ANC employee Errol Velile Present, and three others charged in connection with a Johannesburg cash-in-transit heist, have been granted bail in the Roodepoort magistrate’s court.

Magistrate John Baloyi granted bail to Present and Itumeleng Manama, 40, Bheki Biyela, 38, and Zakhele Zondi, 37, who appeared in a packed court on Monday morning.

Baloyi said the State did not provide tangible evidence, and said witnesses who took part in an identity parade could not place any of the men at the scene of the crime.

He said there was no CCTV footage available, and that fingerprints from the men weren’t found on the getaway cars.

He also said a DNA blood sample that was found at the scene could not be linked to the any of the accused.

Baloyi said the men were also not found in possession of any money and firearms.

Case ‘weak and non-existent’

“The State’s case can be described as weak and non-existent,” Baloyi said.

He granted them bail of R4 000 each. The conditions include that all four must report to their nearest police stations on Mondays and Fridays between 06:00 and 18:00.

As Baloyi delivered his judgment, those in the gallery clapped their hands and rejoiced.

The four men were arrested in July by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department’s K9 Unit and Crime Intelligence, in connection with a Dobsonville heist in which a security guard was shot and wounded.

They are facing charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder and the possession of suspected stolen vehicles.

Last week, investigating officer Colonel Solomon Mabasa told the court that Present drove and organised parking for the two hijacked vehicles that were used in the heist at a Capitec Bank.

READ MORE: ANC ‘heist man’ in CR17 security link

The two vehicles were identified as a Volvo and a Ford Ranger.

Zondi apparently drove the second vehicle.

Previous convictions

“There was a second vehicle, a silver-grey Volvo which was driven by accused number four, Velile Present. He was accompanied by accused number two, Itumeleng Manama, and accused number three, Bheki Biyela,” Mabasa told the court at the time.

Three of the men have previous convictions against them.

In 2002, Zondi, who is the cousin of Present, was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment.

However, in 2009, he was released on parole after serving seven years behind bars. There are no pending cases against him.

Manama was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery in 2002 and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. It is not clear how many years he served before he was released on parole.

Biyela was convicted of theft for stealing cash by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court in 2014. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but was released on parole after serving two years and six months. — News 24


R1.1-billion land claim “captured”

This story was produced in partnership with Pulitzer Center. Details of the land claim settlement for MalaMala, one...

Lekwa municipality won’t answer questions about why children died in...

Three children are dead. More than a dozen homes have been gutted by fires in the past six months. And, as...

Failure to investigate TRC cases during the Mandela era delayed...

Counsel for late trade unionist Neil Aggett’s family decries the slow pace of instituting an inquest into his death

SANDF colonel accused of swindling colleagues in UN business scam

A senior soldier who is part of South Africa’s peacekeeping missions is accused by her colleagues of swindling them out of of hundreds of thousands of rands in a nonexistent business deal

Press Releases

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.