By Brenda Zinyuke
One of the three men who ganged up and robbed a Bulawayo gold dealer of US$2 000, R25 000, ZWL$6 000 and 143 grammes of gold at gunpoint, has been sentenced to an effective 10 years in jail.
Richfield Mpofu (30) connived with Michael Ngwenya and Mthokozisi Tshabalala, who are both still at large and robbed Ms Privilege Ndlovu after raiding her home in Kumalo suburb.
Mpofu was convicted of armed robbery by Bulawayo regional magistrate, Mr Mafios Moyo and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment of which two years were suspended for five years on condition that he does not within that period commit a similar offence.
Prosecuting, Ms Concilia Ncube said on April 5 this year at around 2PM, Mpofu and his two accomplices hired a Honda Fit pirate taxi which was driven by Mr Innocent Mahlangu.
They went to Ms Ndlovu’s house in Kumalo suburb.
The court heard that on arrival, Mpofu and his accomplices walked into the house and approached Ms Ndlovu on the pretext that they wanted to sell her six grammes of gold.
The complainant offered to buy the gold for $75 and soon after the transaction, they produced a firearm before robbing Ms Ndlovu of her money, 143 grammes of gold and two cellphones.
“The accused person and his accomplices pulled out a firearm and ordered the complainant to surrender 143 grammes of gold, US$2 000, $6 000, R25 000 and two cell phones and fled,” said Ms Ncube.
Ms Ndlovu screamed for help while Mpofu and his accomplices scaled a perimeter wall as they continuously fired gunshots in the air to scare away neighbours who were trying to render assistance.
The court heard that Mahlangu was frightened by the gunshots and he started the engine and drove but one of the three men opened fire and shot the left rear wheel resulting in the car grinding to a halt.
“The accused person got into the car and ordered Mahlangu to drive towards the Bulawayo-Harare road amid threats to shoot him if he resisted.
“They disembarked along the way,” said Ms Ncube.
A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of Mpofu and the recovery of R3 200, $105, US$10 and a loaded pistol with 12 rounds of ammunition. The Chronicle