The late filing of one of six people, convicted of carrying out an armed robbery at the Westlane Lifestyle Centre in Windhoek in 2017, resulted in his appeal being dismissed by the High Court on Friday.
According to appeal judges Dinah Usiku and Herman January, Lukas Ndlovu failed to provide a reasonable explanation as to why he filed his appeal late.
Thus, the court could not condone the late filing.
The judges also noted that although Ndlovu was convicted on 29 October 2019, he opted to file his notice to appeal only in February 2021.
In addition, the court believes he has no prospect of winning his appeal.
Ndlovu, a South African national, wanted the High Court to reconsider his conviction on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances, his sentence of seven years and a fine of N$20 000, imposed by the Regional Court.
In his appeal, Ndlovu argued he had no intention of appealing – but after finding out that his co-accused were convicted on a lesser charge of theft, he deemed it unfair, since they all took part in the commission of the crime.
In addition, the court failed to consider mitigating factors in his favour when it imposed a “shockingly inappropriate sentence”.
According to him, he has been in custody for two years before he was sentenced, and he is a first-time offender.
He has also not benefitted from the stolen money.
Ndlovu’s accomplices Zimbabwean nationals Shane Ntandoyenkosi Moyo, Mguni Sibisiso Pumizile and South African Vusi Buthelezi David were sentenced to a fine of N$25 000 or 30 months imprisonment each on the charge of conspiracy to commit theft conviction, and N$5 000 or six months in jail for conducting business in Namibia without a work permit conviction.
South African nationals Mthokozisi Kubeka and Vincent Martin Khumalo also admitted guilt; they were found guilty as charged and sentenced.
The group admitted to carrying out an armed robbery at the Westlane Shopping Complex in Windhoek on 13 November 2017.
Police reports at the time stated the group allegedly ambushed a G4S crewman at Westlane, who was opening a cash-in-transit vehicle to load money.
One of the suspects shot through the vehicle window and allegedly grabbed one of the G4S guards.
After the ordeal, the group fled the scene in a Toyota Etios, an Audi and a Lexus with foreign number plate.
All vehicles have since been impounded.
Upon their arrest, the group was found in possession of N$336 000 and US$6 500 (N$109 005).
According to Ndlovu’s admission of guilt testimony, they worked with an employee from the security company and two women who worked at the shopping centre.
Ndlovu testified that he, Kubeka, Khumalo and Buthelezi arrived in Namibia from South Africa on 11 November 2017 on the invitation of a woman who resides in Windhoek to carry out the heist.
The woman allegedly also invited a G4S security guard to be part of the robbery.
Ndlovu, who testified about his role in the robbery, said a woman living in Windhoek, a security company employee and a person working at a shop at Westlane were also involved in the plan to stage a robbery at the Pionierspark shopping centre on 13 November 2017.
He admitted his role in the robbery, confirmed the involvement of his co-accused and further revealed that other people, too, were part of the planning of the heist, in which N$487 320 in cash was stolen from a security guard, who was supposed to collect money from Westlane.
He further said David was the driver of their getaway car in which Mguni was also waiting.
According to Ndlovu, the woman who had planned the robbery took N$50 000 as her share of the stolen money, while he, Kubeka, Khumalo, Buthelezi and Mguni got N$35 000 each, and N$50 000 was Moyo’s “reserved share”.
The security guard, who was part of the planning of the robbery, was due to receive N$50 000, while N$50 000 was also reserved for a woman working at a shop at Westlane, Ndlovu stated.
For his appeal, Ndlovu was represented by Jermaine Muchali, with Ian Malumani representing the State.