Bongani Moyo abandons bail bid
By Yolande Du Preez and SAPA
The bail application of one of South Africa’s most-wanted criminals, Bongani Moyo, was abandoned in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday. His lawyer, Narushka Mistry, said an agreement had been reached with Moyo that there was no reasonable prospect of success.
When the magistrate asked him if this was true, Moyo nodded and said “yes”. This followed his escape on crutches from the Pretoria Regional Court earlier this month. He was not locked in a cell, or wearing shackles at the time. Moyo was facing charges related to more than 35 bank robberies and two escapes from prison.
He will remain in custody until his next appearance with his three co-accused on September 16. Leon Ncube, Thabani Sibanda, and his cousin Khubulani Sibanda will then continue their bail applications. This related to a robbery at Standard Bank on April 19, during which more than R30 000 was stolen.
Security at the court was beefed up with heavily armed police tactical response unit members keeping an eye on him in the specially allocated courtroom. With his face covered with a blue cloth as he made his way to the cells, there were no signs of any crutches. At the time of Moyo’s escape two weeks ago, he appeared in court on crutches because of a leg injury and was therefore not shackled.
He handed his crutches to one of his co-accused, picked up a pile of documents and simply walked out of court after bowing to the magistrate. Moyo was shackled and handcuffed during his brief court appearance on Monday. He was not asked to plead. Members of the SAPS packed the ground floor corridors of the court and security requested ID cards from all police members who entered the building at the main entrance.
As Moyo sat in his blue soccer shirt with his head bowed, the front row of seats in the courtroom was reserved for police officers. Heavily armed officers stood guard at both entrances to the courtroom and several others were placed within the courtroom.
Moyo, who faces several charges of bank robbery and escaping from custody, appeared without his co-accused who are suspected to have carried out more than 30 bank robberies since 2006. Moyo was arrested in Hillbrow on Sunday night, police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said. He was found in a car with two Zimbabweans, who have been charged with harbouring a wanted criminal.
According to police, at his last escape, Moyo was sitting between courts 16 and 17 and escaped through court 16. Two investigating officers and two policemen were suspended from their duties at the court as a result. – Pretoria News