Saturday 6 July 2024


One of the suspected bank robbers who stole US$271 500 has been acquitted by a Bulawayo magistrate.

Elias Mudenda was acquitted due to lack of compelling evidence linking him to the Nedbank branchcrime, despite being found with US$4 000 and R12 000 in cash.

Sunday News reports that the magistrate ruled that neither Nedbank witnesses nor police detectives could identify the recovered money as belonging to the bank, nor was there any other evidence connecting Mudenda to the theft.

She said the two officers agreed that the bank did not provide them with serial numbers to link the recovered money with that from the bank and there was no other evidence that links Mudenda to the offence.

The trial of Lovemore Gambiza and Mudenda, who have been in remand prison since their arrest in September last year, kicked off in April this year with both of them pleading not guilty to unlawful entry and theft charges.

Prosecutor Ms Concillia Ncube told the court that Lovemore Gambiza (45) of Emganwini and Elias Mudenda (46) of Cowdray Park, on the night of 26 August 2023, together with Aggipa Mloyi, Dingilizwe Mloyi, Nqobile Mloyi, Sipho Tshuma, Bhekani Mlilo and one other suspected, only identified as SaMandla who are still at large hatched a plan to steal cash from Nedbank Belmont Branch.

“When they got to the scene, the accused scaled over the pre-cast wall and cut the razor wire. Thereafter, they cut and removed the burglar bar to the back office and gained entry into the bank.

“While inside they opened the server room and used a gas cutting torch to open the Chubb vault that contained cash, then stole US$272 000 cash, R2  420 000, five gold coins weighing 1 ounce each with a total value of USD10 056 and a network video recorder worth US$109,” said Ms Ncube.

She said the offence was discovered on the morning of 28 August 2023 when the Nedbank employees reported for work and a report was made to the police who attended the scene and recovered cigarette stubs and used tissue paper from the scene which were taken for DNA testing.


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