Two men have been sentenced to 79 years each by the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court on August 31 after committing a spate of car hijackings and robberies in the Tembisa community.
Lindokuhle Mtungwa (22) and Sphiwe Biyeni (28), and their friends were, according to the police, terrorising the community.
The Tembisa SAPS communications officer, Captain Manyadza Ralidzivha, said the suspects were both found guilty and sentenced to 79 years each.
“They were found guilty on seven counts. Car hijacking (count one) – 15 years imprisonment, car hijacking (count two) – 15 years, pointing of a firearm (count three) – two years, car hijacking (count four) – 15 years, car hijacking (count five) – 15 years, robbery aggravating (count six) – 15 years and pointing of a firearm (count seven) – two years.
“The sentences for count two to seven are to run concurrently with the sentence imposed on count 2. They will each be serving 30 years behind bars. No further condition was issued,” explained Ralidzivha.
Ralidzivha said during March 2016 in Mqantsa Section, the two men approached a man who was sitting in a car with his girlfriend and pointed a firearm at them.
“The woman was robbed of her wristwatch, cellphones and a ring. They forced them out of the car and drove off in their car,” he added.
Ralidzivha said in May 2016 the men hijacked three cars from different people in different sections.
“At Hospital View, they accosted a 67-year-old pensioner who was with his wife, also a pensioner. When he was about to open the gate at the house in Remembrance Street, he was pointed at with a firearm. The 67-year-old man tried to fight them. They overpowered him. His wife and granddaughter managed to get out of the vehicle.
“The three men got into the vehicle and drove away,” he said.
Ralidzivha further said another car was hijacked in Esiphethweni Section.
“The victim was on her way to a school parents’ meeting. The three men approached her and took her car.
“A Ford Bantam was hijacked in Inxiweni Section from the owner while he visited his cousin. He parked his car on the street. When he got out of the car the hijackers approached him and robbed him of the vehicle. Members of the community who witnessed the incident came forward with information,” he said.
He said Colonel Nthipe Boloka, the then detective commander, and his team worked tirelessly until they arrested three men.
“They were connected to the three Tembisa cases and one in the Tembisa South policing area for car hijacking. One of them was later given bail. Since then he hasn’t been seen and did not attend court. A fourth suspect was arrested this year and charged with the four car hijackings and robbery. He is still appearing in the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court,” said Ralidzivha.
The cluster commander of Ekurhuleni North, General Vincent Leshabane, congratulated the station commander of Tembisa South SAPS, Colonel Nthipe Boloka, and the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Wisane Mabale, for ensuring the suspects are brought to book.
“The conviction will serve as a deterrent to other perpetrators who are terrorising the community of Tembisa. The police are still looking for the suspect who failed to appear before the magistrate as he promised when his bail application was granted.”