Jail-breaker Bongani Moyo pleads for mercy

PRETORIA - Serial jail-breaker Bongani Moyo had a difficult childhood in Zimbabwe, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

Testifying in his sentencing proceedings, Moyo, 31, told Judge Natvarlal Ranchod he was raised in Bulawayo.

His parents separated when he was five and his family struggled financially.

“I was born in a very poor family. I only attended primary school for four years. I was raised by my father and stepmother.

“My father was a farmer, he would sell the crops he cultivated. I did not progress with school because of lack of money. In school I was not bright. I always failed.”

He was testifying after he and Khumbulani Sibanda entered into a plea bargain, in terms of which they pled guilty to charges of racketeering, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of unlicensed firearms, and escaping from custody.

They robbed several banks in Gauteng and the North West in 2011, after escaping from Boksburg prison in March that year.

The soft-spoken Moyo told the court he was a widower, like Sibanda.

“I have two children, a boy and a girl. The boy, aged seven, is handicapped and now stays with my stepmother. He cannot move and oozes saliva all the time. My wife died in 2010,” Moyo said.

“It is tough now for the boy. I had hired someone to take care of him and used to pay the person. My stepmother is unemployed.” When he moved to South Africa, Moyo said he survived by “shooting pictures”.

He is expected to submit further evidence after an adjournment. Earlier, Sibanda begged the court to be merciful when sentencing him.

He was the first to take the witness stand, during arguments in mitigation and aggravation of their sentences.

The pair has spent close to two years in jail, serving time for other robberies. — Sapa

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