Three criminals who plied their criminal trade across the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro will be spending a long time in jail after they were found guilty and sentenced for a string of crimes. Mawabo Swekile (31), Xolani Venge (34) and Lunga Mokuma (37) remained in custody since their arrest in 2009 until the finalisation of their cases today, 18 July 2019.
In November 2009, the Provincial Hijacking Task Team under the supervision of Lt Col Willie Mayi were hot on the heels of the three accused after they were being sought for crimes committed in Uitenhage (House Robbery), Kwanobuhle (2x Robbery of vehicles alternatively money laundering), Walmer (attempted murder x2 on police officials) and Humewood (illegal possession of firearms and ammunition).
On 24 November 2009, Lt Col Mayi and his team were busy with investigation when the stolen vehicles were seen moving towards Walmer location. When they saw the police, they fired shots at them. Police returned fire and Mokuma and Venge were arrested while Swekile managed to flee. The VW Polo was recovered at Glendenning Flats later that morning.
The two accused were taken to their flat in Clyde Street where two firearms were recovered. One firearm was taken in the house robbery in Uitenhage while the other was reported stolen in Addo. A third firearm was also confiscated from Lunga – the serial number was filed off.
Swekile was arrested in St Albans prison while awaiting trial for another case. The three accused were from Veeplaas, Kwazakhele and New Brighton respectively.
On Wednesday, 18 July 2019, they were sentenced as follows:
House robbery: all three sentenced to 10 years each
Money laundering: all three sentenced to 2 years each
Attempted murder on the police officials: Mokuma sentenced to 3 years imprisonment
Illegal possession of firearm and ammunition: Mokuma sentenced to 3 years
Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition: all three sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.
Effectively Swekile and Venge will serve 17 years in prison while Mokuma will serve 23 years in prison.
Thorough and meticulous investigation as well as an excellent partnership with the prosecuting authority led to a water tight case against these three criminals.
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