Premium Journalist
2 minute read
6 Apr 2017
5:03 pm

OR Tambo heist: State and defence close cases


The daring heist at the airport saw suspects make off with a whopping R20.7m.

OR Tambo International Airport. Picture: Valentina Nicol

The state and defence, in the bail application of one of the men accused of being involved in last month’s heist at OR Tambo International Airport, on Thursday closed their cases following lengthy arguments.

Prince Dube, 43, was allegedly part of a gang suspected of planning and executing the airport heist. The suspects made off with R20.7 million. Dube is facing charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances and could spend 15 years behind bars if he is found guilty.

Advocate Oscar Machevele, acting for Dube, told the Kempton Park Magistrates’ Court his client deserved to be granted bail.

He said Dube had been honest about his previous convictions, one of which was fraud, for which he received a fine.

“He would like to prove his innocence, there’s no likelihood that he will evade his trial.”

Machevele said that Dube could pay R5 000 bail and that strict bail conditions could be imposed on him.

State prosecutor Jacob Serepo argued that the state had a strong case, as money had been found with Dube’s girlfriend.

Serepo told the court that SBV transported money, and there was no information about him previously working for the company.

“Credibility is of importance in this kind of application. The accused has lied to this court. He said he could pay R30 000 bail but he has changed and now says he can only pay R5000, the court even asked him what happened to the R25 000,” Serepo said.

“The court asked him if he earned R400 000 per month, and he agreed but today, he says he was confused, and he meant per annum.”

He said that Sars documents showed that Dube was not paying tax and could move to another province without being traced.

“Case law is clear as to what needs to be dealt with, he has to go beyond just saying the state’s case is weak. He has failed to do so,” Serepo said.

“There is a problem with his citizenship, the document said he is Zimbabwean and of course he disputes it.”

Earlier on Thursday, Serepo submitted a supplementary affidavit by investigating officer Colonel Mabina Mahlangu which contained information from the criminal record centre. The affidavit stated that Dube had 14 names, five surnames, six birth dates as well as four previous convictions.

Serepo said that the suspects who were released and had their charges dropped had different technicalities that lead to them being set free.

The case was postponed to Friday.

-African News Agency

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.