Bongani Moyo back in court

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iol new spic moyo 6 INL SA Escapees Bongani Moyo, Themba Dube and Khubamlani Sibanda are kept under guard at a press conference following their escape from Pretoria Central Prison. Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

The trial of convicted jail escapee Bongani Moyo and two others was postponed on Wednesday as a new magistrate had yet to take up the case.

In May, magistrate Chris Chokoe recused himself from the trial of Moyo, Khumbulani Sibanda and Leon Ncube.

The trio faces charges of escaping from custody following their botched dash for freedom from C-Max Prison in Pretoria. The attempted escape was foiled when a newspaper vendor saw them and raised the alarm. They allegedly used prison overalls to scale a perimeter wall after escaping from the double-storey prison building.

On Wednesday, the three appeared in the Correctional Services Prison Court in Pretoria. Donald Somo, for the three, said the chief magistrate was expected to take up the case when it resumed on July 11. All three remain in custody.

On Tuesday. Moyo was found guilty of escaping from the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on August 10 and sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Earlier this month, Moyo was convicted in Johannesburg for escaping from a Johannesburg police station and was handed a 14-year jail term.

Pretoria magistrate Len Miller refused to order that the two sentences run concurrently, as requested by Somo.

At the end of Tuesday's court proceedings, Somo told the court he had been instructed to appeal against the judgment. The application for leave to appeal was set down for June 26.

In effect, Moyo had begun serving a 17-year term before he had been fully tried for the assortment of offences he was arrested for. These crimes include bank robberies, armed robberies, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, and resisting arrest.

Regarding the armed robbery charges, Moyo, Ncube, Khumbulani Sibanda and Thabani Sibanda were informed in May that their trial had been transferred to the High Court in Pretoria, where they would go on trial from March 11 to 28 next year.

In March last year, Moyo escaped from Boksburg prison, where he was awaiting trial for bank robberies. He was recaptured at the Beitbridge border post almost three months later when he re-entered South Africa from Zimbabwe. - Sapa

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