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Heist trial postponed

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More than R4.5 million was stolen during the incident when guards from G4S Security were robbed at gunpoint while emptying an ATM

Seen from left are: Modisdotsile Diseko (hidden), Jones Mashigo, Thabiso Ramabusa, Seikanyo Manyama, Bongani Nontseke, Zeth Mthutuleli, Ismael Kgosimere, Ezekiel Sebilo (hidden) and Carl van Graaff, who are accused of the cash-in-transit robbery which took place near the K&B Supermarket in Beaconsfield in November 2015. They appeared in the Kimberley Magistrates Court yesterday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE TRIAL of the nine men accused of being involved in a cash-in transit heist near K&B Supermarket in Beaconsfield in Kimberley, has been postponed to May after one of the accused fell ill.

The accused, Modisoatsile Diseko, Jones Mashigo, Thabiso Ramabusana, Seikanyo Manynama, Bongani Montsheke, Zeth Mthuthuzeli, Ishmael Kgosimere, Ezekiel Sebigo and Carl van Graaf are facing 16 charges, which include robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder, theft of a motor vehicle, illegal possession of ammunition and illegal possession of firearm.

The Kimberley Regional Court yesterday heard that one of the accused, Ramabusana, was a diabetic and too weak to continue with the trial. Ramabusana’s attorney, Adele van Schalkwyk, told the court that her client said he could only get his medication in Bloemfontein.

“The accused said he has not received his medication. I have asked him if he can get his medication in Kimberley, but he said he needed his clinic card in order to get it. I also cannot continue with proceedings in the absence of the accused,” said Van Schalkwyk.

Sakkie Nel, who is representing Carl van Graaf, pointed out, however, that the postponement was a further delay in the trial.

“The accused was told by the court on Tuesday to make the necessary arrangements to get his medication but he did not do so. He should in future have his medication on hand to prevent such delays. I have sympathy for his condition, however he has to take responsibility for his illness,” said Nel.

Magistrate Danie Schreuder said he was dissatisfied with granting the postponement.

“This court has no other option but to postpone the matter under the circumstances. Dates for trial are arranged months in advance and it is the duty of an accused person to ensure he is available at the time and dates arranged by the court.

“I am not satisfied that the matter had to be postponed. I expect the accused to see to their priorities in future so that the court proceedings can continue,” said Schreuder.

It is alleged that more than
R4.5 million was stolen during the incident which occurred on November 16, 2015, when guards from G4S Security were robbed at gunpoint while emptying an ATM adjacent to K&B Supermarket in Beaconsfield.

The matter was postponed to May. Two of the accused remain in custody while the rest are out on bail.