Two men accused of robbing SABC journalists on camera in March last year were on Tuesday sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court after they pleaded guilty to robbery with aggravated circumstances two months ago.
Zimbabwean nationals, Alfred Ndlovu and Clement Ncube‚ robbed the SABC crew, including contributing editor Vuyo Mvoko, with a toy gun on 10 March, 2015 outside Milpark Hospital shortly before a 7pm live news crossing.
National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Gauteng spokesperson, Phindi Louw, on Tuesday confirmed that Ndlovu and Ncube had been handed down 15-year prison terms.
“I can confirm that both accused were each sentenced to 15 years today at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. They will begin their sentences immediately. There was overwhelming evidence against these two and that is why they had pleaded guilty,” Louw said.
Louw added that Ndlovu and Ncube had not indicated whether they would apply for leave to appeal their sentences.
The men stole the SABC crew’s valuables, including laptops and cellphones, before fleeing.
Two other accused‚ Pascal Manuel Junior and Motin Mortin‚ pleaded not guilty in March.
Louw said she could not immediately confirm what the status was of the other two accused as they were not at the court on Tuesday.
SABC journalist Criselda Lewis, who was part of the crew that was mugged, took to social media saying she was delighted over the sentencing and that the incident had been very traumatic.
“Thanks to SAPS for working tirelessly to ensure those thugs are behind bars. 15 years in jail. Do it for other victims too. I almost feel sorry for them but think how I almost threw myself off the bridge to escape. Society doesn’t deserve that rot,” Lewis tweeted.