Three escapees rearrested by police with help of the public

Image: 123rf/ Allan Swart

A murder suspect who escaped from South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in December has been located east of the city‚ while two Eastern Cape escapees were recaptured thanks to an alert motorist.

Sbonelo Nkosingiphe Thwala‚ 27‚ escaped on December 5 while appearing in court for possession of an unlicensed firearm and a murder committed in Jeppe‚ Johannesburg‚ in April last year.

On Sunday‚ Captain Mavela Masondo said: "After his escape‚ a team of detectives has been working tirelessly to apprehend him. Police received information about his possible whereabouts and went into the house in the early hours of Thursday morning where he was arrested."

Thwala was rearrested in Tsakane‚ Ekurhuleni.

During his rearrest‚ he was found in possession of two unlicensed firearms and ammunition‚ said Masondo.

He will appear at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday facing a charge of escaping from lawful custody. He is also expected back in the high court for the initial charge of murder and possession of unlicensed firearm.

The Gauteng police provincial commissioner‚ Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela‚ thanked the community for assisting the police in locating the wanted suspect.

Eastern Cape police‚ meanwhile‚ have also rearrested two jailbreakers - after they hitchhiked with the wrong guy.

Mbongosi Mgoqi‚ 24‚ and Jason Witbooi‚ 22‚ were apprehended in the Storms River area on Saturday.

The pair had escaped from the back of a moving police vehicle on Tuesday‚ April 2‚ while being transported back to prison. The escape occurred on the R62 and N2 on-ramp‚ near the Kareedouw and Humansdorp turn-off.

Witbooi was arrested for the murder of retired farmer Norman Ludwig‚ 69‚ of Joubertina‚ in October 2018. Mgoqi was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on April 1 2019 on a charge of culpable homicide that occurred in August 2007‚ also in the Louterwater-Joubertina district.

Said police: "It is believed that the two escapees were hiding out in the Kareedouw district and they decided to leave the area (on Saturday) morning. The two‚ who were hitchhiking‚ obtained a lift from an alert community member‚ who recognised the two immediately and notified the police in Storms River.

"Police officers from the Storms River SAPS set up a roadblock on the N2 and pulled the vehicle with the two escapees off the road and rearrested them on the spot."

Mgoqi and Witbooi are due to appear in the Humansdorp Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of escapinge from lawful custody.

Source: TMG Digital.

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