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Re-arrested escapee ‘had hit list’

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A Pietermaritzburg murder and robbery accused who escaped from police custody had a list of people he wanted to assassinate while on the run, The Witness reported.

Durban - A Pietermaritzburg murder and robbery accused who escaped from police custody had a list of people he wanted to assassinate while on the run, The Witness reported on Saturday.

The newspaper reported that Sthembiso Vincent Shabalala had, within an hour of escaping, called a key state witness who had testified in his murder trial and threatened to kill her.

Shabalala, aged 34, was rearrested on Thursday night in a house in Morning Rise after police received a tip-off.

Shabalala had been on the run since escaping from a Pietermaritzburg court building after an appearance on December 2 last year.

The Witness reported that Shabalala had apparently escaped by jumping underneath the prison van while the prisoners were entering it from the back door to be transported back to prison.

When the van later stopped at a red robot, he let go of the chassis, to which he had been clinging, and dropped to the ground.

Shabalala faced ten charges all together. He was accused of shooting and killing a 39-year-old farmer and stealing his bakkie at his farm in Richmond in August 2012.

He was also accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend and prison warder.

Shabalala also faced a charge of previously escaping from police custody in March 2012.

Shabalala appeared in Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court on Friday and remained in custody.

He was due back in court on January 22. - Sapa


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