A recently widowed woman was at the time in the company of a friend who came to comfort her when the incident took place on a farm in Alexandria in the early hours of 29 January 2019. Three suspects entered the house and the incessant barking of her three dogs prompted the victim to investigate, and as she entered the lounge, she saw three men.
The suspects tied the wrists of both ladies with cable ties and bound their legs with packaging tape to the legs of the chairs. They then ransacked the house, took an undisclosed amount of cash, a firearm and fled the scene after approximately two hours with an Isuzu bakkie which belonged to the victim. Both victims were severely traumatised and sustained bruises.
Information of the incident was circulated after one of the victims managed to free herself and alerted the SAPS. The speedy response by members of the Port Elizabeth Flying Squad resulted in the arrest of two suspects and the recovery of the vehicle approximately one and a half hours after the crime was perpetrated, in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth. One of the attackers, Mphathi Advocate Nkomonde who was fatally wounded by police was on bail for a robbery on a farm in Somerset East.
Several items were found in the possession of the other suspects including, applications for a firearm license belonging to the owner of the farm, safe keys, cash, household items taken during the robbery and the .38 Special Revolver which was taken from the farm.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga welcomed the sentence handed out to 51 year old Lumnkile Manene and 37 year old Zukile Vena who attacked the two elderly women.
She said, “successful convictions and sentences is based on several pillars including thorough crime scene management, meticulous statements, honest witness testimony and a solid relationship between the investigator and the National Prosecuting Authority”
Well known and notorious criminals, Lumnkile Manene had two previous convictions, robbery and escape from lawful custody and he was on parole. He was released a month prior to the incident. Zukile Vena had 5 previous convictions, three for housebreakings, one for theft and one for robbery.
When handing down the sentence, Judge Bloem of the Grahamstown High Court emphasized that it was a planned robbery and on their arrival at the scene they came with bolt cutters, knowing that the house is secure. They also came with gloves, packaging tape, cable ties and knives.
Advocate Jan Engelbrecht from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions worked closely with the Investigating Officer to prepare the case.
The two suspects remained in custody for the duration of the trial.
Earlier this month both the accused were found guilty of Count One Housebreaking with intent to commit robbery.
Count Two Aggravated Robbery.
Accused number one Lumnkile Manene was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for Housebreaking with intent to commit robbery, and for aggravated Robbery 20 years imprisonment
Accused number two Zukile Vena was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for Housebreaking with intent to commit robbery and 15 years imprisonment for aggravated Robbery.
Read about more farm attacks here
South Africa Today – South Africa News