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A murder and ATM bombing suspect who escaped from police cells in April, was shot in the leg and rearrested on Monday morning at Nanciefield Hostel in Soweto.
After almost two months on the run, Sifiso Kunene (32), who was described by police as “armed and very dangerous”, is recovering under police guard at an undisclosed local hospital.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini explained that police had to shoot him as he tried to run away.
“We were trying to apprehend him and knew that if he got away he would disappear again,” Dlamini said.
“We received information that he was driving in and out of the hostel. The public had seen Kunene’s picture published in newspapers and recognised his face.
“We set up a surveillance team outside the hostel and when the officers spotted Kunene they immediately confronted him. But he jumped out of the vehicle and ran.”
Police shot Kunene in the right leg and arrested him. He was unarmed.
On April 19, Kunene had managed to escape from the Protea Glen police cells in the early hours of that Sunday morning.
Dlamini said the suspect used a hacksaw to cut through the burglar bars and then escaped through the roof of his cell.
He said police still haven’t been able to determine how the suspect had managed to get a hacksaw into his cell.
“At this stage we haven’t concluded the investigation. We don’t have any suspects in that regard,” Dlamini said.
Kunene had been arrested for ATM bombing incidents in Gauteng and the killing of a police officer in Kliptown, Soweto.
Dlamini said police investigators suspected that Kunene may be linked to other crimes since the time he had escaped from custody, adding that they were connecting available evidence.
Sifiso Kunene is linked to more than 13 serious and violent crimes including:
* July 8, 2011: Alleged murder of police reservist Constable Busisiwe Mehlwana during an ATM bombing in Pimville, Soweto.
* Between September and October 2011: Six ATM bombings in Gauteng. Areas targeted include Sophiatown, Dobsonville and Randfontein.
* October 23, 2011: Allegedly participated in the murder and armed robbery of businessman Bongani Wilmont Thwala and his wife Happiness Nokuthula Khanyile in Paulpietersburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
* October, 2011: Kunene allegedly hijacked a vehicle in Kagiso on the West Rand. The vehicle was was later used during ATM bombings.
* May 2, 2012: Murder and ATM bombing in Mondlo, KwaZulu-Natal.
* April 19, 2012: An additional charge of escaping from custody will be added when he appears in the Protea Magistrate’s Court.