Cellphone robbers get combined 22 years in jail

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Two armed robbers from Motherwell were sentenced to a combined 22 years in jail after a two-year-long trial.

Ayanda Skhoboyi, 24, and Masixole Dyantyi, 22, started serving their sentence from Thursday for robbing a 30-year-old lady on Christmas Day in 2017.

According to the police, the woman was standing at a bus stop along Khalendula Street, NU 12, Motherwell when the men approached her, robbing her of her cellphone valued at R4,889.

"During the robbery, Skhoboyi produced a firearm and his Dyantyi brandished a knife," police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said.

"The lady screamed and her husband came to her rescue, chasing down Skhoboyi with his car. When Skhoboyi pointed the firearm at him, he knocked him over, trapping him under the car."

"Skhoboyi was arrested at the scene and a 9mm firearm was seized," Naidu said, adding that Dyantyi was later arrested and the cellphone recovered.

The pair appeared in court shortly thereafter and were released on bail.

On Thursday, they were sentenced at the Motherwell regional court.

"Skhoboyi was sentenced to an effective 14 years imprisonment for armed robbery and illegal possession of a firearm, while Dyantyi was sentenced to eight years in prison for armed robbery," Naidu said.

Motherwell cluster commander Major General Dawie Rabie commended the investigating and arresting officers, as well as the husband of the complainant for their quick response.

"The punishment meted out to these criminals is fitting and just, as they targeted a vulnerable and helpless woman.

"Had it not being for the quick reaction of her husband, these accused would have gotten away with their crime and would have continued with their criminal activities," Rabie said.