‘We catch him and we end it all,’ say Hawks of cash-in-transit heists mastermind

15 July 2018 - 00:00 By GRAEME HOSKEN
Police have identified the mastermind who is behind at least 23 cash-in-transit heists.
Police have identified the mastermind who is behind at least 23 cash-in-transit heists.
Image: Mark Andrews

After 178 cash-in-transit heists this year, the Hawks have named their public enemy No 1, who is believed to be behind at least 23 of them.

He is 38-year-old Wellington “Bibi” Cenenda, from Tembisa on the East Rand, whose gangs have netted R46-million from raids including the double cash-van bombing in Boksburg on May 17.

“We catch him and we end it all,” Gauteng Hawks boss Major-General Prince Mokotedi told the Sunday Times this week. 

Six of Cenenda’s alleged key lieutenants have been arrested in the past 10 days, and Mokotedi said the net had been closed by a combination of old-fashioned detective work — including the identification of prisoners and suspects who had recently been paroled or given bail — and hi-tech techniques such as cellphone tracking.

Mokotedi added: “We have the who’s who of masterminds here,” he said of men including Sello “The Teacher” Senyatsi, Thato “The Bomber” Gaopatwe, Tauyaborwa “Spikiri” Machika, Collen “Jabu” Mmamadi, Calvin “Boze” Molete, Paul “The Patriarch” Sibande, and Stanford “Madam” Dihangoane.

They appeared in courts across Gauteng this week but were not asked to plead.

Mokotedi said: “It’s been a massive task, especially in identifying the foreigners involved such as those from Botswana [Gaopatwe and Molete], who are the explosives experts, and the Zimbabwean [Sibande].

Fidelity CEO Wahl Bartmann welcomed the arrests but warned that heist syndicates would move elsewhere. “This week one of our vans was bombed in Tugela in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.

“We are worried that these latest arrests will simply displace these suspects. We just hope that the police in other provinces are prepared.”

Read the full story in the Sunday Times.