Picture: Pexels
Picture: Pexels

Hefty sentences for criminals who terrorised motorists on N1 in Gauteng, Limpopo

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Jul 28, 2021

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Pretoria – The South African Police Service in Limpopo has welcomed the lengthy sentences handed down by the Mokopane Regional Court to four criminals convicted for armed robberies and other crimes along the N1 between Limpopo and Gauteng.

Three of the four criminals who were sentenced on Tuesday – John Fine, 36, Clifford Mutonhori, 34, and Figos Madisha, 34 – were rearrested on Saturday after they escaped from a police vehicle along the R101, south of Polokwane, last week.

“The fourth criminal (sentenced with the rearrested trio), Benge Frans (Baloyi), was in custody. Dennis Hove, who escaped together with the other three prisoners, is still on the run,” said Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

Mojapelo said 48-year-old Baloyi was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.

Fine was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment on four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, and one count of contravening the Immigration Act.

Mutonhori was also sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment on four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, and one count of contravening the Immigration Act.

Madisha was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment on four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.

“The four convicts were terrorising motorists along the N1 road who either stopped on the roadside to relieve themselves, experienced breakdowns or got punctures along the way after driving over spikes placed (by) them as a trap, robbing them at gun point.

’’The crimes were committed since 2019 under the policing areas of Bela Bela, Modimolle and Mokopane,” said Mojapelo.

“A dedicated team of investigators derived from the aforementioned police stations was assembled to, in a coordinated manner, investigate all the cases that were being committed along this road. Detective Captain Schutte from Bela Bela, Detective Captain Mogotlane from Mokopane and Detective Warrant Officer Rossouw from Modimolle formed an integral part of this team.”

SAPS is still searching for Zimbabwean national Dennis Hove, who escaped with Madisha, Fine and Mutonhori on Wednesday last week.

The four – Hove, Madisha, Fine and Mutonhori – are yet to face charges of escaping from lawful custody, robbery of a firearm, two counts of truck hijacking and attempted murder committed after they escaped last week.

African News Agency (ANA)

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