NEWS

Arrested Pair In Court But Not Charged With Chief Justice Break-In

Their lawyers says there's no mention of those 15 stolen computers.

22/03/2017 19:43 SAST | Updated 22/03/2017 19:58 SAST
Gallo Images / Beeld / Lisa Hnatowicz
The offices in Midrand, Gauteng, of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng where thugs allegedly stole computer equipment with potentially sensitive information.

Two men who appeared in the Mamelodi Magistrate's Court on Wednesday are not linked to the robbery at the Office of the Chief Justice, their lawyer said.

Given Msimango, 20, and Bigboy Jose, 37, were arrested on Monday and appeared briefly in court on Wednesday afternoon.

Lawyer Sammy Mahlangu said his clients were not linked to the robbery at the office in Midrand.

Fifteen computers were stolen from the office's human resources unit on Saturday morning. They contained important information about judges and officials in the Office of the Chief Justice, the Constitutional Court, high courts, Supreme Court of Appeal, and other specialised courts.

Also read: Police seek man to solve Chief Justice Office break-in - Phahlane

"According to the charges levelled against them, there is no mention of any computers that were stolen in the chief justice's offices," Mahlangu said.

"The charges against them relate to firearms and no mention was made in the media about any firearms having been stolen at the chief justice's office. On this basis they were not linked to the crimes."

Arrests

Msimango was charged with illegal possession of unlicensed firearms and 36 rounds of ammunition. Jose was charged with four counts of possession of falsified identity documents.

Msimango had previous convictions for common robbery and Jose had a previous conviction for fraud.

The matter was postponed until March 30 for a bail application.

Earlier, acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said a multi-disciplinary team, led by the deputy commissioner for crime detection in Gauteng, Major-General Mary Motsepe, had been hard at work finding the culprits.

Their efforts had culminated in the arrests of three men in Mamelodi over the past few days. The team followed leads and searched several addresses in Mamelodi for the stolen computers and the perpetrators.

Police did not prosecute the third man arrested.

Various items including unlicensed firearms and forged identity documents were seized during the searches.

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