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Suspect takes advantage of cop car's flat tyre

By unknown | Jan 29, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Victor Hlungwani and Selby Makgotho

An armed robbery and murder suspect has allegedly raped six women, including four young girls, since he escaped from police custody on Thursday.

Daniel Chucheka Mabasa, 26, of Mikhomi village in Giyani, has left communities of Shihosani, Mkhomi, Nhombelani and Mdabula near Malamulele in Limpopo terrified.

Mabasa escaped while being transported from the Matache prison in Thohoyandou to the Brits magistrates' court in North West, where he was to appear on murder and armed robbery charges.

A police car allegedly had a puncture between Malamulele and Giyani.

Police are said to have uncuffed him so he could help them change a tyre. Instead he made a dash for freedom.

Soon after the escape, he allegedly came across five women in the forest near Sikukwani village.

He allegedly threatened them with a panga. However, the women escaped unharmed.

Later Mabasa met a man walking with his girlfriend at Nhombelani village.

He drew a panga and the man ran away. Mabasa allegedly dragged the woman into the bushes and raped her.

On Saturday he found four young girls between the ages of 13 and 14 on their way to fetch water at Khalanyoni between Nhombelani and Shihosani. He allegedly handcuffed them before raping them one at a time under a bridge.

At the time of his arrest Mabasa had allegedly kidnapped and raped a 15-year-old girl from Mavambe village.

After allegedly raping the girl he forced her to walk 55km from Mavambe village to Mashawu in Makhado.

Police spokesman Superintendent Moatshe Ngoepe said Mabasa was also wanted for an attack on a farmer in North West last year.

He also faces five counts of robbery and one of armed robbery after the robbery of a shop in Masuani village in Malamulele.

Since his escape on Thursday police and members of the public have launched a massive manhunt.

But Ngoepe denied that at the time of the escape Mabasa had his handcuffs removed.

"As the two police officers were busy attending to the tyre, the suspect made his way out of the sedan and escaped with the handcuffs still on his hands.

"As he was running away he managed to undo one hand," said Ngoepe.

He appealed to members of the public not to try and apprehend the man, but to report him to the Malamulele police or the nearest police station.

He said Mabasa was last seen wearing a khaki shirt and black trousers.


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