The case involving three Gwanda detectives facing $270 170 theft charges took a new twist on Friday when five unemployed Beitbridge men appeared in court facing robbery charges involving the same amount.
Sikhumbuzo Mathe, Walter Denhere and lshmael Phiri were arrested by Gwanda police and have already been brought before the courts.
The three through their lawyer Matshobana Ncube had denied the charges adding the State case against them was “pathetic and weak”.
They will appear in court again tomorrow with Ncube set to make an application for refusal of further remand for Denhere and Phiri.
On Friday Oscar Mlilo (32), Siphilanzima Langalanga (33), Rendan Ndou (31), Leonard Moyo (29) and Sakhile Ncube (34) appeared before Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nazombe facing robbery charges involving $270 170.
They were not asked to plead and were remanded in custody to tomorrow when their lawyer David Maribiti will seek bail.
Maribiti said he needed time to go through the court papers.
The court heard that on February 19 Mlilo and Ncube, a close associate of Mshima Madzikita, got wind that he had changed
R3 million rands into the equivalent of $270 170 and was heading to Bulawayo. They then hatched a robbery plan and incorporated the services of the other three.
Langalanga then phoned Detective Sergeant Sikhumbuzo Mathe of Gwanda to intercept the car. As Madzikita was driving towards Gwanda the accused persons followed at a distance.
On arrival at Caltex garage Madzikita picked up his mother, but was stopped by Mathe as he took off and ordered to drive to the police station.
Madzikita requested to leave his mother behind and the police agreed and he handed her the bag containing the cash.
While at the police station Madzikita’s car was broken into before the accused persons pounced on Madzikita’s mother, dragged her into a getaway car and sped towards Bulawayo before robbing her of $270 170.
Cash and property worth $35 570 was recovered from the accused persons.