Vuyisani Xakatha (27) was sentenced in the East London Regional court for 7 counts of armed robbery and kidnapping respectively on 21 April 2021.
It is reported that during the period 2014 and 2015, incidents of British American Tobacco (BAT) vehicles carjacking and armed robbery were rife in the Eastern Cape. These vehicles were delivering tobacco products both in the rural and urban areas of the province. It is said that robbers would find a way of obstructing the BAT vehicles and in the process threaten the drivers with firearms. They would then put the driver at the back of the same car and one of them would drive off.
The robbers would drive to a secluded area where they would offload the tobacco products and load them into awaiting getaway vehicles leaving the driver stranded in the abandoned BAT panel van.
The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation linked Xakatha to some of the cases that took place around Mdantsane, East London and Queenstown. Xakatha was traced and arrested in Cape Town prison where he was already serving a 20 year term sentence for an unrelated offence.
He got arrested on 27 January 2018 and pleaded guilty on 14 April 2021 hence his sentencing on 21 April 2021.
Xakatha is to undergo 20 years imprisonment for 7 counts of kidnapping and 7 counts of armed robbery respectively. Five (5) years will run concurrently with the previous 20-year sentence which will make him spend a combined 35 years behind bars.
Xakatha’s conduct prejudiced the BAT company money to the value of R520 000-00.
Major General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya Provincial Head of the Hawks once more gave a thumbs up for the well-deserving Serious Organised Crime Investigation team of East London.
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