Jabulani Moses Yika (41) who was arrested in 2020 in connection with a cash in transit robbery that claimed the lives of two Hawks officers was sentenced before the Mmabatho High Court on 17 February 2023.
The cash in transit robbery took place in Mahikeng on 6 March 2020 which led to the fatal shooting of Detective Warrant Officer Delene Grobler-Koonin (44) and Detective Warrant Officer Wynand Herbst (42).
The armed gang allegedly shot and forced a cash security van off the road and attempted to blow it open, ordered security officers out of the vehicle and took both their firearms.
No access was gained into the safe on the vehicle. At that point, members of the National Intervention Unit approached the suspects and the suspects fled off, leading to a resultant high speed chase.
Members of DPCI Head Office TOMS were alerted to be on the lookout for the vehicle in question. When they spotted the vehicle, they gave chase and a shootout allegedly ensued resulting in Detective Warrant Officer Grobler-Koonin being tragically shot.
Follow-up operations which included the Special Task Force continued.
Later in the day, the suspects were cornered at a Total garage near Coligny where another shootout ensued and Detective Warrant Officer Wynand Herbst was shot during the crossfire.
Three suspects were fatally wounded and two were arrested.
Warrant Officer Herbst succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital.
Meanwhile three AK47 rifles, two pistols and eighty six live ammunition and two vehicles were seized.
As investigations continued, additional suspects were arrested bringing the total number to nine.
Solomon Ngubeni (47), Jabulani Yika (41), Musa Mkhavela (33), Terefe Demmissie (39), Edgar Marule (47), Simphiwe Msibi (24), Jabulane Sibisi (53), Omphile Maswabi (33) and Thuso Tshepo Lobelo (31) made court appearances facing charges of murder, attempted murder, pre-meditated murder, possession of firearms, possession of ammunition, possession of explosives and malicious damage to property.
Yika was sentenced to thirty (30) years effective imprisonment.
Meanwhile the matter against the other accused has been remanded to 27 February 2023 for trial.
The Provincial Head for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Major General Patrick Mbotho welcomed the sentence and thanked all the units that worked tirelessly to apprehend the perpetrators. He further thanked the National Prosecuting Authority for their excellent work.