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Limpopo man who escaped from hospital after being arrested for shooting six people re-arrested

Face of a man

Police in Limpopo have re-arrested 35-year-old Thabo Ali Molobela who escaped from hospital last month, after he was arrested for allegedly killing two people and shooting four others. Photo: Supplied/SAPS

Published Oct 5, 2023


Double murder-accused, Thabo Ali Molobela, who allegedly escaped from police custody in Limpopo after being arrested for shooting six people has been re-arrested.

Molobela, aged 35, was nabbed on Tuesday night at his hideout - an abandoned house in Sedawa Village - following an intelligence-led operation by detectives from Hoedspruit, following a positive tip-off.

Limpopo police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said Molobela’s arrest on Tuesday came after the murder-accused man vanished from the Sekororo Hospital more than a week ago.

“The suspect allegedly shot himself while being arrested at Sekororo, Santeng Village outside Hoedspruit. Police officers however managed to move swiftly to disarm him and quickly rushed him to hospital for medical treatment. He was under police guard when he escaped,” said Ledwaba.

Police in Limpopo have launched a manhunt for 35-year-old Thabo Ali Molobela who escaped from hospital after he was arrested for allegedly killing two people and shooting four others. Photo: Supplied/SAPS

Molobela was initially arrested after he allegedly went on a shooting spree on August 19, at Makgophong Village in Magatle.

The shooting spree resulted in the deaths of two people while four people were left with injuries. Among the people allegedly shot by Molobela were his wife, their child, and other relatives.

Police said the circumstances surrounding the escape from the hospital were still being investigated.

Meanwhile, commissioner of the SA Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe saluted the dedicated team of police officers who “worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure the accused is tracked down and put behind bars where he belongs”.

Provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe. Photo: Screengrab

Hadebe has also commended the community for assisting police by providing valuable information relating to the wanted murder-accused man.

Molobela has since appeared before the Lenyenye Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, facing a charge of escaping from lawful custody. His case was postponed to October 11, for further police investigations.

Molobela was then transferred to Mokopane where he will be appearing on charges of two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder.

Last month, IOL reported that Molobela had survived a suicide attempt when police arrested him for the shooting of six people, killing two of them, at Makgophong village.

“According to reports, the suspect (Molobela) and his wife had marital problems which remained unsolved when he allegedly then resorted to shooting her, their child, as well as her sister and cousin,” Ledwaba said at the time.

He said the shooting happened in a car.

“The horrific incident took place while these family members were in a motor vehicle about to leave to Makgophong village, on August 19, at around 7pm. Unfortunately, the wife's cousin and sister succumbed to the injuries, while she and a one-year-old child remained in a critical condition,” he said at the time.

The two deceased have been identified by police as Reneilwe Phogole, 39, the wife’s cousin, and Adelaide Mapulane, 29, who is the wife’s sister.

Police discovered that prior to the shooting of the four people in the car, the security guard had also attacked another husband and wife who were trying to help him resolve his marital issues.

“It is alleged that on that fateful day, the couple residing at the same Makgophong village met (with the security guard), trying to resolve their issues, but later on the suspect attacked the family,” said Ledwaba.