28-year-old man sentenced to 25 years in jail for armed robbery of a tobacco vehicle

His accomplice is still on the run, after escaping from custody.

14 February 2021 - 13:41
A 28-year-old man from the Eastern Cape was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment for his involvement in robbing a tobacco vehicle.
A 28-year-old man from the Eastern Cape was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment for his involvement in robbing a tobacco vehicle.
Image: 123RF/STOCKSTUDIO44

The Mdatsane regional court has sentenced a 28-year-old man to 25 years in prison for his involvement in an armed robbery of a tobacco vehicle in 2015.

According to the Hawks spokesperson in the Eastern Cape, Capt Yolisa Mgolodela,  Ndibulele Sinqu was sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbery, five years' imprisonment for possession of an unlicensed firearm and another five years' imprisonment for possession of ammunition.

She said his sentence stems from an incident that occurred in October 2015 where a British American Tobacco vehicle driver was robbed of boxes of cigarettes worth more than R500,000.

“The driver parked the vehicle to get a quick bite at a service station in Mdantsane when he was confronted by five unknown armed men who hijacked and drove to a secluded area near Crave butchery where they offloaded all the boxes of tobacco worth more than R500,000,” Mgolodela said in a statement.

She said two suspects, Sinqu and Sibongiseni Mbele, 30, were identified and arrested. Mbele later escaped from police custody and is still being sought.

Mgobedela said the national Hawks head, Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya, applauded the investigation and prosecuting teams for an outstanding display of collaborative skills in ensuring that these suspects are convicted. He also encouraged the teams to use all resources available to them to ensure that the remaining suspect is brought to book.

The Eastern Cape provincial head of the Hawks, Maj-Gen Obed Ngwenya, commended the Serious  Organised Crime Investigation team for a series of successes in their cases, stating that this is an indication of great dedication and commitment to their work.

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