Serial escaper found guilty

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IOL pic jun6 prison bars worn AFP File picture: Timothy A Clary

Pietermaritzburg - A serial escapee was reduced to muttering obscenities as he was led away to the court holding cells by six armed guards after being found guilty of a string of crimes.

Sthembiso Vincent Shabalala, who has escaped police custody three times, was convicted on Thursday on 10 charges, including theft, murder, robbery with aggravating circumstan-ces and assault.

The 32-year-old Highflats, Ixopo, man had been part of a syndicate which robbed people of their cars.

Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Nomphumelelo Radebe found that the state had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt, and that the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to Shabalala’s guilt.

Shabalala has been found guilty of the robbery and murder of Richmond farmer Rob Anderson in August 2012, the hijacking of a van from Raj-singh Ramdalal in Umzinto in November 2009, and robbing and stabbing Sadanund and Vanitha Dhaja outside their Umzinto flat in July 2012.

Anderson’s bakkie was stolen by Shabalala, along with the Dhajas’ car.

Shabalala was also convicted of assaulting a former girlfriend, Angeline Ngubane, on August 17, 2012.

Argument in mitigation and aggravation of sentence will take place today.

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