Four men that have committed a series of armed robberies along the N1 between Gauteng and Limpopo were sentenced to jail. Three of the convicts escaped police custody last week.
The Mokopane Regional Court in Limpopo sentenced four suspects to a combined jail term of 86 years imprisonment on Tuesday, 27 July and there is more to come as three of the men face additional charges related to their brazen escape from police custody last week. The men wreaked havoc on the N1 road between Limpopo and Gauteng, where they committed armed robberies and other crimes. One of their accomplices, Dennis Hove, is still on the run.
Three of the four criminals incarcerated on Tuesday, John Fine, 36, Clifford Mutonhori, 34 and Figos Madisha, 34, were rearrested on Saturday, 24 July, after they escaped from police custody along the R101 in southern Polokwane on Wednesday, 21 July. The men were being transported to a correctional facility ahead of their sentencing when they managed to get away from the police.
Benge Frans Baloyi, who was also sentenced, was in custody at the time of the escape. Dennis Hove, who is from Zimbabwe, is still on the run from the police.
“The four are still to face charges of escaping from lawful custody, robbery of a firearm, two counts of truck hijacking and attempted murder,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
Baloyi was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for numerous counts of, both, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition.
Fine, Mutonhori and Madisha were sentenced to 22 years imprisonment each for the same offences as Baloyi. Fine and Mutonhori were also sentenced for contravening the Immigration Act.
“The four convicts were terrorising motorists along the N1 road who either stopped alongside the road, experienced breakdowns or experienced tyre punctures along the way after driving over spikes that were placed on the road as a trap, robbing them at gunpoint,” said Mojapelo.
The convicts have been operating in the areas of Bela Bela, Modimolle and Mokopane since 2019, according to police.
Lieutenant General Thembi Radebe applauded the dedicated team of police detectives – Detective Captain Schutte (Bela Bela), Detective Captain Mogotlane (Mokopane), Detective Warrant Officer Rossouw (Modimolle) – for investigating the N1 crimes and playing an integral part in the arrest and sentencing of the convicts.
“The hunt for Dennis Hove from Zimbabwe is still continuing,” said Mojapelo.
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