Village Magistrate Ephraith Ndegwa has sentenced a South African national, Skhumbuzo Mlopsha, to 11 years in jail for his part in the infamous 2005 armed robbery which netted P5 million in foreign currencies for the robbers.
The magistrate said that the state had produced ample evidence to show that Mlopsha was involved in the armed robbery. The magistrate further said that Mlopsha was the one who was driving the Mercedes Benz car that was used during the armed robbery though it had been hired by Tebogo Mafisa.
Ndegwa also said that during investigations into the case, Mlopsha was found with large amounts of foreign currency, whose origin he could not explain. ?She said the offense was brutal and needed a harsh sentence, adding that there were aggravating circumstances as the convicts had used dangerous weapons to get away with the money. Ndegwa also noted that Mlopsha had delayed the case by making numerous applications before court while his co-accused had pleaded guilty immediately after being caught.
The prosecution had wanted Mlopsha to pay the company part of the money they stole but the magistrate turned down the application as the money was ensured under an insurance company which has already paid the Brinks Company.
During his mitigation, Mlopsha pleaded with the Village Magistrate’s Court to be lenient with him by imposing a lesser sentence on him as he had already spent the past five years in custody pending extradition and trial without being given bail.
┬áMlopsha, who is a South Africa citizen, said that he is a father of three minor children attending primary school and their mother is unemployed and would suffer if he were given a lengthy sentence.
His other co-accused, Jeremiah Modise, a Botswana citizen, and South African Tebogo Mafisa, immediately after arrest,┬ápleaded guilty to the armed robbery and have been in custody serving ten years imprisonment. ?Mlopsha represented himself, while the state was represented by Priscilla Israel of the Directorate of Public Prosecution.