DETAILS: The who’s who of cash heists go by names of sterrings

A motorist was killed by a stray bullet during a cash-in-transit heist in the north of Pretoria.

A motorist was killed by a stray bullet during a cash-in-transit heist in the north of Pretoria.

SA is practically a movie, so it’s fitting that some of the criminals involved in cash heists, a national pastime next to soccer, rugby and open letters, have interesting nicknames.

The Hawks have revealed the names of suspects involved in some of the most dramatic, well-executed cash-in-transit (CIT) heists.

They have also identified the supposed kingpin of CIT heists that have caused serious concern in the country.

What is interesting about the new information that has come to light is the set of nicknames that sit up there with the memorable ‘Maleven’. You might remember the notorious Maleven, or Ma-Eleven, the bad guy who was captured on video talking about his love of crime and how he would not hesitate to take an infant for a spin in a microwave.

He freely revealed all this in an episode of the Louis Theroux show from the 2000s.

The main ‘sterring’ – or lead character in a movie – who is allegedly responsible for the recent spate in CIT heists, goes by the name Wellington Cenenda. But his nickname is ‘Bibi’, which sounds harmless enough – especially useful if you need a name that disguises a streak of calculated ruthlessness.

ALSO READ: Hawks trail Bibi, the heist mastermind whose arrest will ‘end it all’

One of Bibi’s soldiers goes by the nickname Spikiri. Even more striking is Spikiri’s regal, but rare, Setswana name, Tauyaborwa, whose precise translation to English is ‘Lion of the South’. Spikiri’s full name is Tauyaborwa Machika.

Probably the best nickname here is Madam, the name Stanford Dihangoane goes by. The next is perhaps a bit on the nose, but no less frightening – Thato Gaopatwe, AKA Bomber.

Then there is The Patriarch. When The Patriarch doesn’t go by the name meant to signal a certain arrogance, he goes by the relatively sober Paul Sibande.

One of Bibi’s henchmen is Sello Senyatsi, who goes by Teacher. These guys are known to be quite smart and meticulous, so the name is probably fitting.

Finally, there is Boze, whose real name is Calvin Molete.

The gang appeared in Gauteng courts this week, and were asked not to plead, the Sunday Times reports.

Over the past 10 days, police have arrested the six suspects. In the meantime, they are still on Bibi’s trail.

Police say the gang’s heists, about 23 of them, have enriched the gang by about R46 million. The heists were carried out throughout the northernmost provinces – Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

The credits won’t be ready to roll until the Hawks find Bibi, though.


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