Photo credit: Pixabay
Photo credit: Pixabay
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) has welcomed the lengthy prison sentences handed down to Stanford Manoko Diagoane, 40, who was responsible for a cash-in transit heist almost four years ago.
On Friday 24 July, the North Gauteng High Court found Diagoane guilty on 15 charges including the double murder of two security personnel, robbery with aggravated circumstances, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
Diagoane was handed down two life sentences for the double murder.
He was given and a further 130 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravated circumstances, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, endangering lives or property, conspiracy to commit robbery and declared unfit to possess firearms.
The conviction relates to a cash-in transit robbery that took place near Marikana village in Rustenburg in North West province.
An armoured security vehicle was attacked by Diagoane and other members of an armed gang and the two security personnel in the vehicle were fatally wounded.
The gang then used explosives to destroy the safe of the van and fled with R641 000 in cash.
In July 2018, the Gauteng Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Crime Intelligence and the Limpopo Tracking Team arrested Diagoane for possession of two assault rifles found at a house in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. The rifles were linked to the robbery.
Further investigation by the joint team led to the arrest of Lizzy Lekgotoane, 68, Quomane Letshoa, 41, and Jabulani Mmamadi, 36. All three were apprehended in Soshanguve and charged in relation to the murder and weapons discovery.
According to a police statement, Letshoa and Mmamadi were later granted bail. However, three months after their release they were killed in two separate incidents.
Letshoa was poisoned and Mmamadi was shot and killed days before they were to appear in court for the same case.
“Diagoane and Lekgotoane went through a series of court appearances until Thursday [23 July], whereupon Lekgotoane was found not guilty and discharged, while Diagoane was found guilty as charged,” police spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said.
He added that the Hawks welcomed the collaboration with Crime Intelligence that had enabled the conviction of Diagoane.