Six men charged with the Ngcobo police killings made a brief appearance in the Ngcobo Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape on Monday, May 7. Photo: ANA

Ngcobo - Six men charged with the murder of five police officers and an off-duty soldier in South Africa's Eastern Cape province in February made a brief appearance in the Ngcobo Magistrate’s Court on Monday. 

Andani Monco, Kwanele Ndlwana, Siphosomzi Tshefu, Siphesihle Tatsi, Phumzile Mhlatywa and Phutumile Mancoba were arrested for murder following an armed robbery at the Ngcobo police station.

The men face charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. 

The case against them was postponed until June 14 for further investigation.

During a bail application, it emerged that the suspects allegedly ambushed and killed two police officers next to Nyanga High School and robbed them of their vehicle, official police firearms, including an R5 and a pistol.

The men then took off with the police van which was allegedly used to carry out a robbery at Ngcobo Police Station. At the police station three more officers were killed and one wounded.  

During the attack an off duty soldier, Fred Mpandeni, was also killed and it is believed that he was attending to a crime scene after hearing gun shots.

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The suspects robbed the Ngcobo Police Station of 10 firearms, more than 100 rounds of ammunition, and bullet proof vests. 

Police earlier claimed they recovered the weapons including five R5 assault rifles, pistols and ammunition. 

The suspects were arrested at Mancoba Seven Angels Church during a police raid earlier in February. 

Seven suspects including three of the Mancoba brothers, Thandazile, Xolisa and Philile Mancoba, were killed during the shoot-out between police and suspects at the church compound. 

Meanwhile, two of the alleged killers, Monco and Ndlwana, are expected to appear in the Umzimkhulu Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on a separate matter. 

The two men face robbery and murder charges after a church pastor, Ndumiso Jali, and his wife were killed. 

Jali and his wife were shot dead at their premises in Clydesdale in Umzimkhulu two weeks before the Ngcobo police massacre.

The two deceased were also members and leaders of the controversial Seven Angels church in Umzimkhulu. 

All the men remain in custody after an initial bid for bail was abandoned. 

African News Agency/ANA