Police officer jailed for robbery


A South African police officer who committed an armed robbery in a marked police vehicle has been sentenced to 12 years in jail. 

Thembinkosi Lesele (47), a former Constable based at Lingelethu West SAPS, was sentenced after he was found guilty of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances. 

He was jailed for a crime he committed in 2009, together with three accomplices. 

On December 08, 2009, a delivery truck loaded with alcohol was stopped on Klipheuwel road in Malmesbury near Cape Town. 

Lesele, on-duty and driving a police marked vehicle assisted by three others in civilian clothing approached the driver and one passenger. He then pointed the driver and passenger with his service firearm, demanded their cell phones and took R40 000 cash before fleeing the crime scene.

Nine days after the crime, he was tracked down and arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Unit. According to the Hawks, Lesele was arrested after he had been linked to another armed robbery that took place two days before his arrest. He was later released on R10 000 bail. 

Lesele was convicted on March 10, 2021, for the crime and his bail was withdrawn until his sentencing yesterday. Lesele was subsequently sentenced to 12 years direct imprisonment.

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