Thursday, 13 March 2008
She was a landlady with rooms to hire, but police believe Cynthia Ntuli supplied an add-on service for the gang of house robbers who resided on her premises in Tembisa, east of Joburg. Police allege that 35-year-old Ntuli rented out the two guns that were used to murder Pretoria nursery school principal Rinda Abraham and British national Fred Picton-Turbervill to the gang. The gang of Mozambicans are believed to have terrorised the plush eastern suburbs of Pretoria in a crime spree that culminated in at least two killings, 10 house robberies and one attempted murder.
The gang of Mozambicans are believed to have terrorised the plush eastern suburbs of Pretoria
It ended when detectives arrested eight suspects, including Ntuli, on January 28. Among the arrested suspects were Dinis Gentil Nhone, 36, and Christovao Fresco Ndima, 19. Two other members of the gang are still on the run. Investigating officer Sergeant Wimpie van der Heever is probing the gang's possible involvement in other crimes. He is also trying to discover more about Ntuli's role. Police allege that Ntuli supplied the gang with two stolen handguns, a .38 Special and a 6.35mm pistol, which she hid at her Tembisa premises. "We are still investigating why the gang used her to supply the guns. We understand that they would hire the guns from her, use them in the robbery, then give them back to the lady. They also stayed with her in rented rooms," explained Van der Heever. Ntuli was arrested for possession of stolen property, said Van der Heever, because the firearms were not found on her. Ntuli had been arrested before He added that Ntuli had been arrested before, in 2006.
"She would go to a house and ask the worker if they had UIF (unemployment insurance). Once inside the home, they would rob it," he said.
On January 8, police believe the gang broke into Picton-Turbervill's Waterkloof Ridge home and murdered him with one of Ntuli's guns.
Picton-Turbervill, 45, was shot in the face in front of his wife and four young children. This took place after he had gone to investigate why their dog was barking.
"He was lying on the floor and he turned his head towards the robbers, and they shot him," said Van der Heever. Picton-Turbervill died later in hospital. The robbers took a laptop, four cellphones, jewellery and about R1 000 in cash.Three weeks later, the gang struck again in Waterkloof while Rinda Abraham's two children and a friend were watching TV in their living room. After their dog was shot in the mouth, Abraham came out to investigate. She ended up being shot in the heart, and the robbers got away with a cellphone. It emerged in court that Nhone and Ndima were linked to Abraham's case through identikits. The accused are to appear in court again on April 7.