Zimbabwean masterminds Jo’burg airport heist – he cloned the police vehicle used in robbery

The five men accused of being involved in the daring cash heist at OR Tambo International Airport in court yesterday

The five men accused of being involved in the daring cash heist at OR Tambo International Airport in court yesterday

Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
A ZIMBABWEAN man is suspected to be a key figure in the multi-million rand OR Tambo International Airport heist that happened early this month.

Media reports from South Africa name the suspect as Prince Raphael Dube (40), who was responsible for cloning the police vehicle used in the March 7, R200-million heist.  He was arrested in Norkem Park, northern Kempton Park in Gauteng.

Dube together with four other suspects appeared in court briefly yesterday at Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court.

Other suspects arrested together with Dube over the weekend are Thokwane Simon (37), Mathabatha Frans Manaka (30), Sibusiso Job Mnisi (39) and Mosiwa Steven Motani (35).

The matter was postponed to March 28 and March 29 for a formal bail application and they were remanded in custody.

They are charged with armed robbery.

“Three of the men are security guards at Africa’s busiest airport, and one guarded the vault in which the stolen millions were kept,” reports say.

It is believed that one of the suspects was arrested at his luxury Blue Valley home just hours after posting pictures of himself and friends on social media posing with a brand new R5-million Lamborghini.

Reports say lawyers for the accused‚ who were approached to provide clarity especially on which accused was in possession of a Lamborghini sports car said they could only comment further after the bail applications next week‚ as they had not yet had time to fully consult with their clients.

Zimbabwe’s consul-general to South Africa Mr Bataishe Mukonoweshuro said they had engaged police over the suspected Zimbabwean national but police had neither denied nor confirmed anything.

“There has been a report in one of the papers but we haven’t got verification from the police.  They say they are following the leads. It is believed that Dube was responsible for cloning a police vehicle used in the heist together with four other suspects. But as of now we cannot verify anything, we are awaiting their appearance in court,” said Mr Mukonoweshuro.

Reports say the men had been arrested in a joint operation by the Hawks, the provincial tracking team and crime intelligence on Friday and Saturday.

“One of the suspects, arrested at a luxurious Centurion estate, was found in possession of a Lamborghini and a large amount of cash. Last week, Mosiwa Steven Motani (35), and Khululekani Sibanda (31), also appeared in the same court in connection with the heist,” a report says.

They were both released on bail of R50 000 each.

According to media reports a total of R200m in foreign currency was stolen from an airplane at the airport.

Suspects in a marked police vehicle intercepted the money after a South African Airways flight landed on March 7. A white Mercedes-Benz is believed to have also been used in the operation.

The South African police said a high-level investigation, involving all law enforcement agencies, was underway.

@AuxiliaK

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  • Sonde The Other

    Tonde, don’t even start……

    • TondeThe Original

      Ha Ha Ha, Sonde it looks that you know me very well! But I won’t say i surprised that a Southern brother was in the mix. I suspected as much when i heard that “Tommy” prints were left at the seen of the crime and that one of the robbers was brandishing a very big Okapi!

      • Sigamba

        Silly boy. Always looking for an opportunity to air your sh*t-minded prejudices. I know that contrary to what you try to portray, life for Zim-eastenrs is very lonely and cold in this region where you can never ever be accepted or fit in to the scheme of things.

        • Tonde The Original

          Sigamba, its better to be a silly boy than a silly man. You are a silly man! At least as a boy i still have time to change!

          • Sigamba

            See what I mean? What sort of stupid comment is that? Stay focused and deal with the subject matter or be forever silent !!

  • shacks

    kikiiii dube of southern or northern

    • Mkhusto

      Ubezizamela…….uthini ngomgabe owatshontsha i $15 billion equivalent to zim 4 year budget.

    • MakhosiXamu

      You are so stupid. Tribal mantra so early. Crime affects all tribes and races. There is nothing funny here. uyinjaa yomuntu, shame

  • MaRoe

    Not surprising at all. Its a very unfortunate state of affairs that we find ourselves in. In South Africa , especially Johannesburg , most crimes are committed by our own children , brothers and sisters. House robberies , armed robberies , shoplifting ( mostly by groups of women known as ” omarobane” ) are mostly synonymous with Zimbos. Personally I’ve fallen victim to crime perpetrated by my own fellow countryman.

    • Tawanda

      That is the sad reality of our times. The quest for riches will always put us on the spot. But again it shows how stupid we really want the money for. While some become the Robin Hood some are plain stupid. I think nature doesn’t allow fools to handle such vast amounts. Am not sure about God but I feel he would not approve of people who are inconsiderate.
      Had these guys put the money to good use, I am sure we wouldn’t even be commenting. Good like to their bail application.

  • Gxabhashe

    a security guard posing in a $5million lamborghini,madness and how does a security guard afford aZAR50 000 bail,kkkkkkk lazo ezinye iziyelele sooo nxxxxx….

    • Mbilazibomvu

      These guys stole millions; remember

  • nceku

    too much money is dangerous you cant hide it, it forces you to reveal yourself in a funny manner

  • nhlanhla

    kkkkk sho ..dumb as hell..i think they needed to go through some orientation on how to spend the money or so

  • Nash

    That Lambo has been there since last year. It was posted about 112 weeks ago on Insta. But then

  • Anti Evil

    If found guilty, he should rot in jail for spoiling the reputation of other Zimbabweans right there in SA. Rot in jail.

    • Thabs

      Apart from being born in Zimbabwe, chances are Dube is Ndebele and recognized as a Zulu by ordinary every South Africans. His basically seen as your stereotypical Zulu/South African thug.

  • xhiba

    there was once a real story of a young man who picked up or stole someone’s bank card and he went to book in a five star hotel, then on day seven the card got blocked, he was arrested whilst trying to unblock it, it happened in another country

  • dwala

    If l had that type of money l think l will stay in a luxurious five star hotel

  • Logic

    In all honesty, these are the most sophisticated criminals of the decade. Hands down! They will NOT be caught at all, in fact, these suspects are just a dummy and the Hawks took the bait as they are under pressure to be seen as an effective and performing institution. Meanwhile the true criminals will not raise suspicion. Hehe switching from vaselin to nivea is risky enough at this point, let alone from being injombi to a Lamboghini