Further custody for taxi robber gang members

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Tanaka Mrewa, Court Reporter
THREE men from Bulawayo who allegedly severely assaulted a taxi driver and drove away with his vehicle which they used to rob a foreign exchange dealer of more than R55 000 have been remanded in custody.

The three were part of a five men gang that allegedly attacked Onisimo Matanga (41) in Four Winds suburb and drove away with his vehicle after dumping him close to Hillside police station.

Venson Nzima (22), Africa Dube (24) and Anisto Nyoni (22) and two others who are on the run then allegedly drove into town where they monitored a siphatheleni (foreign currency dealer) for some time.

They then allegedly followed her as she drove to her house in Pumula South suburb and robbed her of more than R55 000.

Nzima, Dube and Nyoni yesterday appeared before Bulawayo Regional Magistrate Mr Chrispen Mberewere facing robbery charges. They pleaded not guilty and were remanded in custody to January 19.

Prosecuting, Miss Lerato Tshuma told the court that on January 3 at 5PM, the gang asked the taxi driver to drive them to Bagcwele Beer Garden in Four Winds suburb.

“Complainant asked for his money when they got to the beer garden. Farai Chitsa, who’s still at large, grabbed complainant by the neck from behind. The rest of the gang joined in assaulting the complainant with a small claw hammer, threatening him with death if he attempted to escape.

“They demanded money. They took $40 cash and a Samsung cell phone valued at $50,” said Miss Tshuma.

“The gang drove into town and spotted Ennie Usavi (41) a money changer whom they monitored. They followed her to her house in Pumula South. While driving near AFM church, the gang intentionally side swiped her car and she stopped to attend to the accident.”

Miss Tshuma said when the woman disembarked from her car with her handbag in her hand, the gang members assaulted her and snatched her bag containing $1 200, R55 000 and P7 600.  They also took two Samsung cell phones valued at $50.

Miss Tshuma said police tracked Nzima using one of the stolen cell phones and when he was arrested, R9 700 and $160 was recovered from him.

Nzima allegedly implicated all the accomplices leading to the arrest of Dube and Nyoni while the other two could not be located at their homes.

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