Johannesburg - A man accused of stealing sheep appeared in the Ermelo Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, Mpumalanga police said.
Sydwell Dladla, 24, would be back in court on March 25 for formal bail application, said Colonel Leonard Hlathi.
Dladla was arrested on Monday for carrying 20 sheep into a Toyota Tazz, said Hlathi.
He was spotted by patrolling police between Lothair and Mpuluzi.
“Police were busy with their routine patrol when they spotted a suspicious-looking Toyota Tazz, “said Hlathi.
Sixteen of the sheep had died of suffocation when the police stopped the man.
Hlathi said the interrogations revealed that the sheep were stolen from a farm in Lothair.
He said all seats were removed and the vehicle was loaded with the livestock.
Dladla was expected to appear in court on Tuesday, but escaped from a police vehicle while he was being taken to a police station for further investigation.
He was found at his house in Fernie, close to where he was arrested on Tuesday afternoon, said Hlathi.
Mpumalanga police chief Lt-Gen Thulani Ntobela said at the time of the man's arrest that he could also be charged with animal cruelty.