Colonel to finally serve jail sentence
16 October 2013, 13:24
Johannesburg - A South African military colonel who committed an armed
robbery at a police station in the Eastern Cape 18 years ago will finally serve
his jail sentence for the first time, Beeld reported on Wednesday.
A warrant was issued on Monday for the arrest of Colonel
Nceba Patrick Bobelo.
His appeal against his prison sentence failed in 2001, but
neither the army nor the justice department were able to explain why Bobelo,
commander of the military's Joint Tactical Headquarters in Mpumalanga, has
avoided jail until now.
In 1995, he was one of four defendants convicted after a
robbery at the Ntabethemba police station in the Eastern Cape, during which two
policemen were attacked and several firearms looted.
The four were all sentenced to 12 years in prison, of which
three years were conditionally suspended.
One of the four appealed successfully in 2001, but Bobelo
and the other two were ordered to start serving their jail terms immediately.
But Bobelo spent the next 12 years being advanced to the
rank of colonel.
Following a Beeld report two months ago on Bobelo's
involvement in the robbery, the South African Prosecuting Authority in the Eastern
Cape received a query from the SA National Defence Force to find out why Bobelo
had not served his sentence, and the warrant for his arrest was issued.