Four of the suspects accused of masterminding the recent armed robbery of popular football club Township Rollers have been remanded in custody.
However, presiding Magistrate Ntombizodwa Ncube warned police that she would grant the accused bail if there was no progression with their investigations within 14 days.
The four suspects, Molefe Mogatusi 33, Jeffrey Molefe 38, Sehlule Mazilawa 33 and George Arabang are charged with armed robbery.
Police are searching for two other men in connection with the incident.
It is alleged that on the evening of 15th April, at or near SA Sales, the accused robbed Rollers treasurer, Minkie Molatlhegi of P200, 000 cash, a Black Mercedes Benz – which was discovered abandoned the day after the robbery – and a Galaxy S7 phone valued at P15, 000.
Outlining why the suspects should be remanded, investigating officer Elias Segokgo told court that inquiries were at an initial stage, adding two men were still at large and some of the stolen goods not yet recovered.
“We have not registered witness statements and some of them are the accused’s relatives. Our fear is if they get released they will interfere with our investigations. We have a lead and we believe given much time we will be able to recover some of the money and stolen property, including the cellphone and match tickets,” said Segokgo
When given the chance to speak, Mogatusi challenged Segokgo to share with the court what, if any, evidence they have linking him to the robbery.
Mogatusi further claimed that he was tortured and beaten by the police, who forced him to ‘confess’.
In response to the accused’s query, Segokgo said they discovered Mogatusi in possession of P420, and claimed to have information from a source proving his involvement in the robbery.
Unimpressed, Magistrate Ncube interrupted and asked the investigating officer if it was a crime to be found with P420.
She highlighted previous incidents were people have spent a month in prison only to have the charges dropped because they were wrongly accused.
Despite this, Ncube remanded the accused in custody, advising the investigating officer to come with concrete evidence linking the accused to the offence by the next mention, which is scheduled for the 4th of May at Extension II Magistrate Court .