Thursday, 5 November 2009

Hot iron torture: domestics arrested

October 28 2009 at 07:22AM

By Alex Eliseev

For police officers accustomed to hauling armed robbers out of Alexandra, it was an unusual mission: track down and arrest two domestic workers hiding out in Hillbrow.

But the capture of their suspects broke wide open a case in which a Sandton woman was tortured with a hot iron during a house robbery last week.

The attack was the third in as many years that has taken place at the luxury Bryanston complex where convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti's family were held up in 2007.

The hunt is on for the remaining three robbers
It is understood the gang arrived at the complex on Thursday morning in a car with Telkom signs on it. They produced a phone account bearing the family's name and told the security guard they were there to fix the line. The guard called the unit, spoke to one of the two domestic workers and was assured that the technicians were expected.

The four men then entered the house and took its owner hostage.

The gang ransacked the house, stealing jewellery, computers and other small valuables. The robbers also took a computer box capturing the CCTV footage in the house. After emptying a safe, they demanded the keys for a locked vault in which the woman's husband kept his hunting weapons. But the husband was away and he had the keys with him.

"I told them I didn't have them," the woman said. "They took an iron and started burning my back. They could have tortured me all day, but I didn't have the keys. They then put a pair of socks in my mouth, tied a scarf around my head and tied my hands and feet with a cable."

After the robbers fled, the woman managed to free herself and call for help.

The woman has had to have plastic surgery for her wounds
"The police arrived within minutes. The Sandton police and ADT were wonderful and compassionate. They helped me get medical help. I believe they deserve a lot of accolades."

Two domestic workers, Patricia Moyo, 29, and Tracey Khalima, 27, had vanished with the gang, and the fear at first was that they had been kidnapped. But it did not take long for the the Trio Task Team from the Alexandra cluster to consider them suspects and track them down to a flat in Hillbrow. The women, one of whom had been with the family for two years, were caught with the family's jewellery and cash.

This breakthrough led officers to pounce on Leonard "Golden" Dube, who was caught with an R-4 military rifle and about R40 000 in cash. Dube was arrested in 2001 in connection with a massive heist at OR Tambo International Airport, but was released. A security guard was shot during the robbery and foreign currency, diamonds and jewellery worth more than R10 million were taken.

After arresting Dube, police raided a pawnshop in central Joburg and arrested the owner, Brett Hutchings, who allegedly had some of the stolen jewellery in his pocket.

The four suspects appeared in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Monday and were due to appear again today.

Agliotti's family were attacked in 2007 and tortured for three hours by robbers. His teenage daughter was molested and his former wife was beaten by the gang. At the time he was under house arrest and under surveillance by the Scorpions. Agliotti has moved out of the Sandton complex and is currently testifying in Jackie Selebi's corruption trial.

About three months ago, another robbery was attempted at the same complex. A gang failed to steal a Porsche, and a security guard was arrested for allegedly being in cahoots with the robbers.

The hunt is on for the remaining three robbers responsible for last week's attack.

The woman has had to have plastic surgery for her wounds.

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Star on October 28, 2009


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