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South Africa: Bank robbers bag 914 years in prison

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The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, better known as the Hawks disclosed that eight people have been sentenced to a combined 914 years in prison for a string of bank robberies and racketeering in Gauteng and Mpumalanga between 2013 and 2014.




In a statement released on Friday, Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said the group was arrested in 2014 after the directorate’s serious organised crime unit began an investigation.

“The eight suspects were part of a dangerous gun-totting syndicate that terrorised Mpumalanga and Gauteng between 2013 and 2014, robbing 11 banks,” Mulaudzi said.

Eleven suspects were initially arrested but three had charges against them withdrawn due to insufficient evidence.

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“After a two-year trial, the remaining eight suspects, Sikhumbuzo Sibanda (45), Strike Ndebele (48), Themba Ndlovu (45), Xolani Nxumalo (40), Bafana Ntuli (45),and Nkosana Nkomo (28), Vusi Lucky Dube (42) Mduduzi Makhubu (38), were found guilty on two counts of racketeering in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), robberies with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms, and malicious damage to property,” said Mulaudzi.

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“The first six are Zimbabweans while the last two are South Africans making the organised criminal group a multinational one.”

Hawks boss Godfrey Lebeya welcomed the sentences.

“The life sentences for a pattern of racketeering offences are welcomed as they send a clear message,” he said.

“The criminals, as declared by court, will not commit another bank robbery. That is also a way of preventing crime. The POCA legislation provides for these heavy sentences and will be vigorously applied.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

Turkey: Group calls for immediate action against Femicide

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Emine Dirican, a beautician from Istanbul, tried to be a good wife. But her husband hated that she worked, that she socialized, even that she wanted to leave the house sometimes without him.

She tried to reason with him. He lashed out.

“One time, he tied me — my hands, my legs from the back, like you do to animals,” recalls Dirican, shuddering. “He beat me with a belt and said, ‘You’re going to listen to me, you’re going to obey whatever I say to you.’ “

She left him and moved in with her parents. In January, he showed up, full of remorse and insisting he had changed. She let him in.

In her mother’s kitchen, he grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the floor and pulled out a gun.

“He shot me,” she says. “Then he went back to my mom and he pulled the trigger again, but the gun was stuck. So he hit her head with the back of the gun.”

Her father, who was in another room in the house, heard the gunshots and ran over. Dirican almost bled to death after a bullet ripped through a main artery in one of her legs.

“I was telling my father, ‘Daddy, please, I don’t want to die.’ “

Femicide — killing women because of their gender — is a longstanding issue in Turkey. Nearly 300 women have been killed so far this year, according to the Istanbul-based advocacy group We Will Stop Femicide, which has been tracking gender-related deaths since Turkish authorities stopped doing so in 2009.

Source Npr news

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24 Hours Across Africa

Dutch police officer kills two family members, self

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A Dutch police officer shot and killed two family members and himself at a home in the city of Dordrecht on Monday evening, a police source said.

A fourth relative was injured, said the source, who could not be identified because the investigation was ongoing.

“Three people were killed in the shooting incident in Dordrecht’s Heimerstein (neighborhood). One person was seriously injured,” according to the official police statement on Twitter.

Emergency response teams were at the scene and a home in the neighborhood had been cordoned off.

Dordrecht Mayor Wouter Kolff said on Twitter there had been “a very serious shooting incident” and that he was heading to the scene.

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