Members of a syndicate that terrorised parts of Mpumalanga and Gauteng, robbing 11 banks in one year, have been sentenced to life behind bars, the Hawks said on Friday.
The eight men were convicted after a two-year trial in the Gauteng High Court that began in June 2016.
The men – Sikhumbuzo Sibanda, 45, Strike Ndebele, 48, Themba Ndlovu, 45, Xolani Nxumalo, 40, Bafana Ntuli, 45, Nkosana Nkomo, 28, Vusi Lucky Dube, 42 and Mduduzi Makhubu, 38, – were found guilty of two counts of racketeering, robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder, the unlawful possession of unlicensed firearms and malicious damage to property.
They were accused of robbing the banks between 2013 and 2014 before the Hawks began investigations.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they made a breakthrough early on in the case.
The men received additional long-term imprisonment sentences, which are expected to run concurrently with the life sentence.