man blinds cops

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

A 29-year-old man sentenced to 108 years imprisonment for a series of robberies tried to escape from police custody by blinding the police with chilli powder.

After being overpowered and handcuffed the man, who three years ago escaped from police custody, begged officers to kill him to avoid going to prison.

Mduduzi Bongani Motha, 29, of Piet Retief, was convicted and sentenced with two accomplices, William Nkosi and Walter Malinga, in the Piet Retief regional court on Friday.

According to Constable Bheki Mbatha of the Piet Retief police Motha was convicted on more than 20 robbery and theft charges, burglary and house robberies, committed in and around Piet Retief.

He said: "Of the 108 years Motha will effectively serve 60 years since some of the sentences will either run concurrently or were suspended."

He said Motha was initially arrested in 2005 but escaped from police custody, but was rearrested the following year.

After sentencing, Motha was not immediately taken to the local prison but was locked up in the holding cells at the Piet Retief police station.

"On Saturday morning two police officers went to fetch him from the holding cells to transport him to the local correctional service centre to start his prison term.

"After they opened the cell he allegedly attacked the officers and blinded them with hot chilli and tried to escape." Mbatha said.

"Fortunately there was a good number of police officers at the station at the time and they managed to overpower him.

"He was shouting that the prison sentence was to long and he would not cope.

"He also begged officers to shoot him to save him the many years in prison."