A SUSPECTED armed robber, believed to be part of a five-member gang that recently pounced on a haulage truck and robbed the driver and his passengers of property and cash worth $161, has claimed he was tortured by the police following his arrest.
BY SILAS NKALA
Mkhululi alias Sibangilizwe Nyathi (37) of Matojeni Village in Silobela, who has been on the run since the commission of the offence on April 25 this year, was not asked to plead to the robbery charge on Tuesday when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Charity Maphosa.
He, however, said he was tortured by detectives, who wanted him to provide the firearm used in the alleged robbery.
“I told them that I did not have it. They assaulted me. I was hit on the head and fell to the ground. I was assaulted with logs and booted feet,” Nyathi said.
He was hospitalised after his arrest as a result of the alleged assault injuries.
The magistrate remanded him in custody to July 4.
The court heard that on April 25 this year, Nyathi and his alleged accomplices, Bongani Tshuma, Lameck Busiso Masuku Moyo, Ntandowenkosi Sidumbu and Kelvin Masuku Moyo, who have since been convicted and jailed, connived to rob a haulage truck along the Harare–Bulawayo Road.
Edgar Moyo (45), and Sakhile Mpofu waved down a truck driven by Ndabezinhle Sibeko in Shangani and were offered a lift. Along the way, Sibeko picked Tshuma, Lameck, Sidumbu and Kelvin. Nyathi allegedly followed the truck using a Toyota Hilux, which they later used as a getaway car.
When they were approaching the Mahatshula turn-off, the four in the haulage truck asked the driver to stop claiming they wanted to relieve themselves.
When he stopped, Nyathi pulled over and parked behind the truck and allegedly jumped into the haulage truck through the passenger door. He allegedly produced a pistol and fired one bullet, which ripped, through the front windscreen, while ordering the passengers to get out of the truck.
Sibeko, Moyo and Mpofu obeyed the order and were searched by the robbers, who collected their cash and mobile phones before being ordered to remove their clothes, which the thieves also took. They also assaulted their victims in the process.
The property stolen and cash worth $161 were not recovered. A report made to the police, led to the suspect’s arrest.