UCT student’s grand plan to break into a liquor store lands him in jail
Cape Town – A Facebook post revealing how to break into a Delft liquor store and escape undetected has landed a UCT student in jail for at least seven days until his bail hearing.
Sihle Mnethe, 21, appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Friday after being arrested at his home by Delft SAPS on Wednesday night.
He was charged with incitement to commit public violence and/or theft and denied bail. He is due to appear again for his bail hearing on April 23.
His arrest followed a speedy investigation of a tip-off about an alleged Facebook threat by Mnethe on April 6.
According to an affidavit, his post, which has not been deleted, read: “Delft Mall Shoprite Liquor is not heavily guarded and it’s raining, so if anything happens the guards will be caught off-guard. The police station is closed so their response rate is approximately six minutes which is ample time to grab whatever you can. The best way to exit is through the south entrance and into the bushes, then cross into Blue Downs or the N2. Bella Ciao!”
Detectives believed it to be a “credible threat” and “a well-reasoned plan to break in and enter the store with the intention of stealing the property”, as well as “a risk and possible injury to the security guards stationed in the Delft Mall”.
Mnethe “reasonably foresaw the possibility that a person reading it would act upon his plan”.
Detectives monitoring Facebook claim Mnethe’s post was widely circulated, generating 20 comments, including a post by Basheerah Phillips, 29, of Delft which read: “So nobody in Delft is gonna brake into Shoprite liquor mxm Jarrre julle is klomp k*k mense.”
“From this posting, it is clear that Basheerah Phillips had identified herself with Sihle Mnethe’s call to people to break into the Shoprite Delft Liquor Shop and that she was also inciting others to do so,” alleges the affidavit.
Both Sihle Mnethe and Basheera Phillips “acted criminally by inciting the public in general to break into a Shoprite store and to break the law with regard to the current lockdown rules”.
Police were unable to say whether Phillips would also be charged and she did not answer calls to her cellphone.