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Durban - A serial escape artist who was rearrested on January 2, a month after his latest escape from custody, was back in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday facing a litany of charges, including murder and attempted murder.
Sthembiso Vincent Shabalala, 34, allegedly compiled a “hit list” of people he wanted to kill while on the run, but he was rearrested before he could carry out his plans, it was reported.
He faces 10 charges in the high court: murder, attempted murder, theft, escaping from custody, assault, being in unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and three counts of aggravated robbery.
The crimes were committed between November 2009 and August 2012.
Police believe Shabalala formed a syndicate to rob people of their vehicles. The gang were armed with guns and knives.
It is alleged that Shabalala robbed a man of his
Toyota Hilux in Umzinto in November 2009 and another of his Toyota Corolla in May 2010.
He was arrested and escaped from custody in March 2012.
Four months later, he is alleged to have robbed a couple of their Toyota Tazz in Umzinto and to have attempted to kill the woman.
Shabalala is also accused of killing Richmond farmer Rob Anderson on his smallholding in August that year. In the same month, he was arrested and found in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
On December 2, he appeared in the Pietermaritzburg magistrate’s court. As the prisoners filed into the prison van to be transported back to New Prison, he apparently clung to the chassis. When the van stopped at traffic lights metres outside the courthouse, he reportedly made his escape.
Shabalala was rearrested again in Cinderella Park, Mountain Rise, in a joint police operation on January 2.
Shabalala’s high court trial is part-heard. It was meant to resume on Monday but had to be adjourned because a State witness was unavailable.