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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Abalone truck hijacker sentenced to 42 years in prison for hijacking

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With so many stories of truck hijackings headlining top news stories but just a few cases solved it is worth celebrating when one truck hijacker is convicted and gets a fair 42-year prison term.

News24 reports that a 32-year-old man was sentenced to a 42-year prison term by the Atlantis Magistrate’s Court for his role in the hijacking of an abalone truck in the Western Cape in 2017.

According to a statement by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Zukisa Sibango was convicted of two counts of attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, illegal possession of a firearm, and illegal possession of ammunition.

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Sibango, who pleaded guilty to the charges, was sentenced to:

– 10 years for the two attempted murder charges;

– 20 years direct imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances;

– 5 years direct imprisonment for kidnapping, and;

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– 7 years direct imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The court ordered that all the sentences run concurrently with the sentence for the robbery with aggravating circumstances, NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said.

However, since the hijacking took place, Sibango was also found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment for a robbery with aggravating circumstances and murder in uMthatha in the Eastern Cape – a sentence that he is currently serving.

“As a result, the Atlantis Regional Court ordered on Friday that this sentence run concurrently with the life imprisonment he is already serving,” Ntabazalila added.

“The NPA welcomes the sentence, as it is commensurate punishment to the crime.”

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In Sibango’s plea agreement, he confessed that he and three other men, including his uncle, were in a Toyota Corolla, aware that a truck carrying cultivated abalone was travelling from Jacobsbaai to Cape Town International Airport on the R27.

The group was also aware the truck was being escorted by a security vehicle.

“They approached the security escort vehicle from behind and the driver of their vehicle used the bright setting of their vehicle to stun the occupants of the security vehicle and, as they overtook the vehicle, one of their group fired shots at the security vehicle with the intent of immobilising it,” Sibango’s plea agreement read.

“The plan succeeded as the security vehicle came to standstill, and although one of the occupants alighted and fired shots at them, none of it struck their vehicle.

“They then turned their attention to the truck and once again an occupant of their vehicle fired at the truck, which was forced to come to a standstill.”

Sibango took control of the truck. They drove to Du Noon and emptied the truck, dumping it along with the driver, sold the abalone, and split the proceeds of the sale between the four men.

Sibango was linked to the crime through his DNA and fingerprints, which were found in the cabin of the truck they hijacked.

“Sibango’s uncle and another suspect have since died, while the rest of the accused are unknown,” Ntabazalila concluded.

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