Unveiled: The story behind the foiled restaurant robbery

The scene of the crime at the Mochachos restaurant. Photo: Submitted.

Senior state advocate, Deon van Wyk, a has shed more light on the foiled Mochachos Restaurant robbery that took place on 13 February 2016.

Read the initial article here: Suspect shot dead outside restaurant

During the early hours of that morning, the manager and security guard of the Mexican-food restaurant on Main Reef Road were the target of a group of armed robbers.

The scene of the crime at the Mochachos restaurant. Photo: Submitted.

Bonkinkosi Loyiso Mpetsheni, 35, one of the robbers has since been sentenced in the South Gauteng High Court to a total of 58 years’ imprisonment on eight charges. Mpetsheni was found guilty on eight charges which included murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. The sentences will, however, run concurrently and he will effectively be imprisoned for 18 years.

Also Read: 2016 Mexican restaurant robbery: Criminal will serve 18 years

According to the actual sentence and plea agreement, the accused understood the charges against him and pleaded guilty to eight counts freely and voluntarily.

He further admitted to the following:

• On 8 February 2016 – five days before the foiled robbery – he received a phone call from the deceased and from one of the suspects fatally wounded during the foiled robbery. They were to meet at a car-wash business two days later.

• During their meeting at the car wash, another four men, unknown to the accused, arrived in a silver Volkswagen Polo. They were introduced.

• The six men drove to Kagiso Extension 2 and 3 in the Polo and deceased’s black Jetta.

• In Kagiso, they met a Malawain national who was a Mochachos employee and who would give information about his employer’s movements.

• The plan was that on 12 February 2016 the men would meet at the car wash for further instructions, but the deceased called the accused and told him to meet him and the other men at the Dube Hostel from where they went to the car wash.

• Three other men, who were not part of the first meeting, arrived in a black Golf 5, accompanied by two men in a silver Honda Civic.

• The deceased and a man who had arrived with the accused, gave instructions and the men went to the Mochachos restaurant in four different vehicles.

• The plan was to wait for the manager and security guard to lock up the restaurant. They were then to be accosted whilst on their way to their vehicles and be robbed of the proceeds of the day as well as of the manager’s Golf 7.

• An occupant in the deceased’s vehicle brought firearms along. The accused admitted that the men had the intention to use the firearms during the robbery, although he was not licensed and/ or authorised to use firearms.

• Some of the suspect left the vehicles and loitered near the restaurant. They were to rob the restaurant manager. The deceased and the rest were to escort the hijacked vehicle and ensure that everything goes smooth. All the men had firearms. The Civic was patrolling the area and the Golf 5 was parked at a KFC outlet.

• The manager and security guard eventually came out of the restaurant after switching off the lights. The accused and the other men were waiting in their designated places as the complainants locked the door. The people on foot approached the complainants. A shoot-out ensued. The manager returned fire and shot at the people who were on foot as well as towards the deceased’s vehicle. The deceased, the accused and a man were also shooting in the direction of the manager and security guard.

• A police vehicle approached and the accused fled on foot, throwing away the firearm which was later found by the police. He was pursued and arrested by two security officers.

• Subsequent to his arrest, the accused had learned that the deceased was fatally wounded during the shoot-out and that he was charged for the deceased’s murder.

• The accused admitted that the offence was committed for a common purpose, that he was present when it was planned, that he had the intention to rob the manager and security guard, that he actively participated by firing shots at the manager and security guard, that he had foreseen that he could cause them grievous bodily harm and possibly death, that by arming themselves, he and his co-perpetrators foresaw the possibility of a shootout with the complainants and/ or security officers and/ or the police as well as the possibility that any of the perpetrators and/ or those who might resist could die as a result, that despite this they continued with their plans.

• The accused therefore understands his liability for the death of the deceased.


Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected]  (please remember to include your contact details in the email) or phone us on 011 693 3671.

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