Two men who staged an armed robbery at a home in Montana in Cape Town, on Christmas Day two years ago, were found guilty in the Parow Regional Court on Tuesday of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Before the court were Malusi Tikili, 26, and Cyprian Slaai, 27, who appeared before magistrate Wezile Rixana.
Whilst the wife of the household was watering her garden at 8am that Christmas morning, the two men stopped in a maroon Renault Sandero to ask if she knew of a motor mechanic. She gave them directions to one, but the men returned soon afterwards to ask for water.
She went inside to fetch a glass of water, but as she handed the glass to one of the men, he pointed a firearm at her face and the two of them the forced her at gunpoint back into the house.
Inside the house, the one hit the husband and son on their heads with the handle of the gun, causing serious gashes.
The man locked the three in a room, then ransacked the house and stole several items including TV sets, a laptop and a camera.
They then escaped, one in the maroon Sandero and the other in the couple’s black VW Jetta.
What eventually brought them to book was Slaai’s eagerness to take photographs of himself and his friends on a beach that same day, with the stolen camera.
What he did not know, was that the camera had a permanent photograph that could not be erased, of the wife from the house they had robbed.
As it happened, a female neighbour had seen the maroon car outside the house across the road and, that Sunday at church, she heard about the robbery.
She informed the police to be on the lookout for the maroon car.
Soon afterwards, police on patrol spotted the car in question, and followed it to Tikili’s home.
In the house, the police found the stolen TV sets as well as the camera.
The police examined the camera and found the permanent photograph of the woman, as well as the pictures that Slaai had taken of himself and his friends on the beach.
The police took the camera to the woman, who recognised Slaai as one of the two men who had robbed her and her family.
Both men face minimum sentences of 15 years each, and are to be sentenced on March 2, when prosecutor Daniel Cloete is likely to request minimum sentences, and defence attorney Andre Pienaar is to plead for a less severe sentences.