Armed robber remanded in his hospital bed Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter

AN injiva who was attacked by an angry mob after exhausting his ammunition while trying to scare them away soon after staging an armed robbery at business premises in Northend suburb in Bulawayo has appeared in court.

Simon Makwelo (35) of Nketa suburb, was part of a gang of eight men who allegedly raided the offices of a Bulawayo company operating in Northend suburb.

Makwelo is now recuperating  under police guard at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) where he is admitted after a group of angry people meted out instant justice on him.

Makwelo yesterday appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Nomasiko Ndlovu in his hospital bed facing armed robbery charges. He was denied bail and remanded to December 24.

Prosecuting, Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo said on December 6 this year, Makwelo who was in the company of eight accomplices still at large, armed themselves with axes and pistols. 

They allegedly went to the complainant’s workplace in Northend suburb where they damaged the door using axes to gain entry.

“Soon after gaining entry into the company’s main office, one of the accused persons fired a single shot in the air and ordered everyone to lie down,” said Mr Dlodlo.

The court heard that one of the suspects allegedly demanded cash and gold.

“The complainant surrendered US$900 that she was carrying, but the accused person and his accomplices went on ransack the office. They took several cellphones, a digital video recorder, Wi-Fi router and a box containing torn United States dollar notes and fled,” said Mr Dlodlo.

Soon after committing the alleged offence, the armed robbers took to their heels with the mob in hot pursuit. 

The mob managed to catch up with Makwelo who fired several shots in an effort to scare people away. 

Makwelo, however, ran out of bullets resulting in the mob apprehending him.

They savagely attacked him before handing him over to the police leading to his arrest.

A Star pistol and one of the stolen cellphones, a Samsung J4, were recovered from him. The value of the stolen goods is $32 128 and property worth $1 000 was recovered. The US$900 was not recovered.

Makwelo’s accomplices are still at large and police have since launched a manhunt. @mashnets

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