Manager accused of being bank robbery mastermind


Cape Town – A former manager at Standard Bank accused of being the mastermind behind a robbery at her branch, in which half a million rand was stolen, has been released on bail of R10000. The woman, her ex-husband and three other men appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Monday. It took the Hawks two years to nab Carmen Kolbe, 39, of Blackheath and her ex-husband Kensley Kolbe, 39, and their co-accused Ebrahim Isaacs, 45, and Samoska Hattes, 48, both from Bridgetown, and Leroy Ackerman, 35, of Tafelsig. Two other suspects have since turned State witnesses and cannot be identified. The group was arrested on Friday by the Hawks and the SAPS Flying Squad for their alleged role in a robbery which took place at the Kuils River Standard Bank on November 12, 2014, during which R500000 was stolen.

Senior state Prosecutor, Christiaan de Jongh, told the court ehy had a strong case against the accused and that they believed Carmen was the mastermind behind the heist. Carmen is currently the team leader at Standard Bank in Zevenwacht Mall. De Jongh also revealed that Isaacs, Hattes and Ackerman gave a confession, while two other suspects had turned State witness. He added that computer equipment and cellphones stolen during the robbery indicated to cops that they were dealing with an “inside job”. “It is clear that she was the mastermind who gave the robbers information,” he said. “Accused three; four and seven have made confessions which implicate the other accused persons. The State has a long case against the accused and they could face 15 years or more imprisonment.” However, de Jongh did not oppose their release on bail, stating that they posed no criminal threat, and would not jeopardise the case. Carmen and her ex-husband, an electrician, said in their affidavit they needed to take care of their 17-year-old matriculant daughter. The couple divorced 10 years ago, are living together, and are romantically involved again. They also indicated that they will be pleading not guilty to the charge of robbery. They were released on R10000 bail each and are to report to Mfuleni Police Station twice a week.

Bail for Isaacs, a spray painter, Hattes, and Ackerman was set at R8000, but they indicated they only have R3000 each.

The case was postponed to October 24 for a formal identity parade.

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