The ringleader of a group of robbers was caught because his “round and fat stomach” did not allow him to scale the high-security walls of a Durban North business complex.
DURBAN – The ringleader of a group of robbers who got caught because his “round and fat stomach” did not allow him to scale the high security walls of a Durban North business complex was thrown into jail this week.
Kwazikwakhe Thusi, 36, was convicted on five of the six counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The charges related to the robbery of a Spur restaurant on Radar Drive in May 2017.
On Thursday, at the Durban Regional Court, he received a 10-year prison sentence for each count, which will run concurrently, for his role in the business robbery.
His three other nimble-footed accomplices got away with about R15 000 in cash, jewellery, cellphones and a Toyota Etios and have not been arrested.
The Spur robbery was included in the latest crime statistics released by the SAPS, this week, which revealed that business robberies in KZN increased by more than 3.3% over the period April 2017 and March 2018. In the previous term, 2 951 business robberies were recorded but that climbed to 3 047 according to the latest statistics.
On the day of the robbery, Darren Naidu, who works as manager at a nearby business, was in the company of two colleagues, one of whom was celebrating a birthday, when the gun-wielding gang entered the restaurant.
Naidu said he and his colleagues were seated near the entrance and there were six other patrons in the restaurant at the time.
“We had just ordered our meals when the two robbers pointed guns at us. The robbers pushed a woman and her child onto our table. The third robber went to the front desk,” Naidu said.
He said he and the others were assaulted by the robbers who demanded valuables.
“We complied with whatever they asked for but we were gripped by fear and wondered whether our lives would be spared,” said Naidu.
In his court affidavit, the restaurant’s manager, Casper Aucamp, said the robbers also pointed a gun at him and demanded cash from the safe.
“We gave them all the money at the cash desk,” said Aucamp.
When the robbers attempted to drive off, they were unable to because security guards had already locked the entrance gates, which forced them to abandon their vehicle and flee on foot.
Once outside, the three suspects hijacked a student driving a Toyota Etios and fled.
However, Thusi who was the designated driver was unable to lift himself over the security wall and was pinned to the ground and cuffed by the guards and staff from the restaurant.
Aucamp said he recognised Thusi through his round and fat stomach and attire.“He was the robber who stood at the till and collected the cash and other valuables,” said Aucamp.
Naidu said he and his colleagues required counselling after their traumatic experience.
Naidu, asked about Thusi’s sentence said: “That’s an excellent outcome. I hope the other suspects can also be apprehended.”