Kanye robbery suspects denied bail

Kanye robbery suspects
Kanye robbery suspects

Four of the seven suspects in a cash loan robbery that left a police officer and one suspect dead in Kanye a few weeks ago, have been denied bail.

The four accused, Malibongwe Moyo, Evans Mhiwatiwa both Zimbabweans, together with locals Gaofenngwe Seitiso and Thuso Tankomane, on Friday appeared before Kanye Principal Magistrate Janet Phosa for their bail ruling.

When denying them bail, Phosa said it was in the best interest of the society for the suspects to be remanded in custody. “I am not denying that the suspects need their liberty as they have not yet been tried, but here the best interest of society ought to be considered and both the society and the suspects’ safety,” she said.

Phosa explained that despite the constitution outlining that suspect can not be held in custody when it has not been proven that indeed he/she committed the offence, there was a reasonable suspicion that the suspects did commit the offence of armed robbery. She further said the suspects were facing a serious offence therefore setting them at liberty might be a motivation for them to abscond from court once the trial starts fearing the possible sentence they might face once convicted.

“There is no prove that the accused may abscond from court as claimed by the state, but the counts the suspects are facing are serious and carries a lengthy jail term, that on its own may entice and a motivation for them to abscond from court,” she said.

Phosa also said she relied solely on the constitution and the severity of the crime in denying the accused bail as both the state and the defence had failed to bring enough evidence before court to advance their argument.  “For the defence, I am told the first accused is a Zimbabwean, but a residence of this country as he is married here with children and property but no documents whatsoever was brought before me and the state also failed to produce any reasonable evidence. Therefore, I had to do what was best looking at circumstances of the case,” she said.

After the ruling, attorney for fourth accused (Moyo), Sesupo Masaka requested court to excuse his client from appearing in court due to his ill health. Masaka said Moyo have been experiencing a deteriorating health since being released from hospital and appearing in court.

“I was hopeful that my client would be given bail, but since it has been denied can he be allowed to abscond from court, at least until his leg becomes better, because right now since appearing in court the leg became worse”, he said.

Moyo sustained a serious leg injury after being shot during a shoot out that ensued with the police when trying to intercept the suspects from scene of crime.

He was hospitalised at Princess Marina, but was released to the police and prison authorities few days later. The Friday court appearance was his second. He had on several occasions failed to appear in court and it was reported that he needed a special transportation because of the seriousness of his leg injury.

The four accused together with two other suspects who are still on the run and one who died, are alleged to have robbed a cash loan at gunpoint in Kanye on January 29, 2014 and got away with among others things cash, a car and cell phones all belonging to the cash loan. They are facing five counts including armed robbery, murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunitions.Last week, the four accused through their attorneys, applied for bail pending investigations and trial.

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