‘It’s not me’: Robbery suspect claims mistaken identity

Port Elizabeth –  A 21-year old man has claimed mistaken identity and continuously denied his identity in a Fischer’s Jewellers’ robbery despite footage captured on several CCTV cameras identifying him, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard on Friday. 

“It’s not me,” said Lindokuhle January while a video shows him smashing the windows of Fischer’s Jewellers seven times with a pistol. 

January constantly denied that it was him even when showed a screenshot of a video taken inside the jewellery story of a man who is his spitting image.

January, Olwethu Dlanga, 21, Awonke Yako, 20, and Lonwabo Maweni, 42, have been charged with murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, among others.

The State alleges that after the four men robbed Fischer’s Jewellers at Greenacres of more than R600 000 worth of jewellery, they shot dead Ronald Goduka, 67, in a botched hijacking.

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“It’s not me,” said Lindokuhle January while a screenshot shows him inside Fischer’s Jewellers at a robbery in July 2016.

The CCTV footage shows a man attempting to break the exterior glass with a pistol by banging on the window seven times. 

State advocate Zelda Swanepoel indicates that the video further showed how the men fled the store with January pointing a firearm towards another man who was standing at Woolworths. 

“I still say that is not me,” said January under cross-examination.

When the men got outside to the car park they approached the “getaway vehicle” but realised that the driver was gone, said Swanepoel. 

She further outlined how January and the other men approached a red vehicle but the driver resisted. 

She then put to January that he was the first one to fire a shot at police officers who had arrived on the scene.

“I can’t answer to that I wasn’t there,” January said in response to the States questions. 

According to the State, January then moved on to another vehicle where he shot and killed Goduka, left him for dead and never took the vehicle. 

Then in the same parking lot, the men moved on to assault and rob Pearl Slabbert, 77, of her white polo and handbag. 

January denied this maintaining that he was never there. 

January also claimed that he did not know his co-accused except for Yako who was a childhood friend. 

Swanepoel then questioned the telephonic communications between the men. 

“How is it that there was a telephonic conversation between you but you want to say that they are unknown? You said you did not have a phone on this day but records show that the number was in the area,” said Swanepoel.

January denied the number was his with Swanepoel further asking him to explain his number saved on Yako’s phone. 

All four men have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. 

The trial continues. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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