Suspect ‘planned to buy dockets’ from police...
April 5 2011
A careless suspected robber, who is part of a gang charged with robbing two casinos in KwaZulu-Natal, made a “shopping list” of police dockets that he “needed to buy” and kept it in his diary.
This evidence was led by the state in the bail application of Thulani Hlatswayo in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Hlatswayo, 29, of Joburg, and his five co-accused are charged with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of attempted murder in connection with robberies at Sibaya Casino, north of Durban, and the Black Rock Casino, Newcastle, in August and September last year.
The five - Malvin Ndlovu, Lumkani Dube, Bongani Lukhele, Philani Gumpu and Menzi Shabalala - were denied bail in December last year.
State advocate Yuri Gangai argued that Hlatswayo had a string of cases against him in Joburg and other areas but these cases had not proceeded.
“There are several cases in Gauteng that the accused (Hlatswayo) was linked to but these cases could not proceed because the accused failed to appear in court. These charges will be reinstated in Gauteng after the completion of this case.”
One of the investigating officers, Warrant Officer Mark Delwa, said in an affidavit to oppose bail that Hlatswayo’s diary was found by police after his arrest at his rented room in Joburg.
“Among his personal belongings I found a diary. The diary contains entries of case numbers where it said ‘I must buy dockets and cassettes’. Two 9mm pistols were also found.”
Delwa said Hlatswayo had made confessions regarding his roles in the casino robberies and cellphone calls and video footage connect him to the crimes.
On Monday in support of his bail application, Hlatswayo said he was the breadwinner for his family and admitted a previous conviction for robbery in 2005.
He said he would not interfere with State witnesses and would not evade his trial.
Gangai said the State had a strong case against Hlatswayo and that he had failed to reveal that he had a previous conviction for escaping from custody.
“It is apparent that the accused did not learn from his previous brushes with the law. These robberies were committed shortly after he was released from prison for the 2005 robbery conviction.”
Magistrate Anita Govender said it was not in the interest of justice to release Hlatswayo and denied him bail. The case was adjourned to April 19 when it would be transferred to the regional court. Hlatswayo and his co-accused were remanded. - The Mercury