Arsenal found in ATM bombing gang's house
24 February 2016, 08:08
Pietermaritzburg, SA - Police recovered an arsenal of machine guns, explosives and ammunition from a house used by an alleged gang of ATM bombers in the Jozini bushveld, the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard on Tuesday.
The weapons were hidden behind a bed. One of the items was a crowbar used to pry open ATM machines so explosives could be placed inside, Colonel Marthinus Botha, of the Pietermaritzburg Organised Crime Unit, and who led the raid, testified in the gang’s trial.
He said police had learnt the gang was planning to bomb a Jozini bank in January 2013. They had already bombed ATMs in Howick, Nottingham Road, Greytown, Merrivale and Utrecht, killing three people as they opened fire on bystanders.
The arsenal included three AK-47 machine guns and a Colt .45 pistol with their serial numbers filed off, ammunition, nine detonation cartridges, and four electric detonators. Also found at the scene was a stolen Ford Bantam bakkie.
The accused, who pleaded not guilty to all 31 counts, are Thembela Ngubane, 27, Menziwa Mdakane, 28, Sifiso Mdakane, 32, Sifiso Khubeka, 28, Sibongeni Msibi, 23, Sphelele Dubazane, 27, all of Bergville; Siphiwe Mabizela, 34, of Ladysmith; Muthikabani, 21, and Mthenjwa Buthelezi, 27, of Mtubatutba; and Lungisani Dladla, 32, of Keate's Drift.
The trial was expected to take a few more weeks.