Cape Town - One of the three escaped prisoners on the run is a suspect in a Golden Arrow bus robbery caught on video that went viral earlier this month.
Khuma Ningo was arrested along with Azole Madubela, Khumzi Ningo, Thulani Juta and Khanya Sopukana for a string of armed robberies in which they used a rifle to rob the drivers and passengers of their belongings.
Yesterday, the accused appeared for a bail application.
Ningo, Vuyani Bonkolo, Khaya Supulana and two others escaped from custody while in the holding cells at Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday afternoon.
The escapees managed to overpower a police officer and disarm him. A manhunt ensued and two of the five awaiting-trial prisoners were recaptured, while the other three are still at large.
Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said: “The initial statement indicated that a total of six prisoners escaped but later a headcount determined that five detainees escaped and not six.
“The search is continuing for the three escapees who are still on the run. Preliminary investigations suggest that the detainees overpowered one of the police officials and disarmed him. Several shots were fired in the direction of the police officials, but no one was hit.
“Thereafter the escapees, between the ages of 20 and 33, fled on foot. An appeal is made to the community to please refrain from approaching or confronting these escapees as they are deemed to be armed and dangerous.
“They stand accused of serious offences such as murder, attempted murder, assault, aggravated robbery and possession of stolen property.”
Pojie said the public are advised to report any suspicious persons and/or the whereabouts of these escapees to the nearest police station or Crime Stop at 08600 10111, or Jacques Cussel can be contacted directly at 079 894 1637.