The 12 suspects that were arrested after the shooting of five police officers made a brief appearance in the Ngcobo Magistrate's Court. Picture: ANA

Ngcobo - The 12 suspects that were arrested after the shooting of five police officers in February, made a brief appearance in the Ngcobo Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The case against members of Mancoba Seven Angels Church, including three of the church leaders, Banele, Ephraim and Phutumile Mancoba; as well as Siphenathi Mafikwana; Nyameko Gemi; Anelani Nobethe; Luxolo Sixoli; Lwandiso Phoswa; Zuko Makepula; Thulani Mrwetyana; Loyiso Buhlungu; and Mawande Jijingubo was postponed to May 24.

They were arrested following police investigation into callous murder of five Ngcobo police officers and the off duty soldier on February 21. 

The suspects robbed Ngcobo police station firearms and bullet proof vests that were recovered by the police during raids at Mancoba Seven Angels Church on February 23. The police raided the place to arrest suspects that were sheltered at the Mancoba compound and a shootout ensued. Seven suspects were killed and 10 others were arrested.

Among the murdered were three of the Seven Angels church leaders,  Thandazile Mancoba who is believed to be the mastermind behind the police killings and the robbery and two of his brothers Xolisa and Philile Mancoba. 

Some of the suspects were later acquitted and six suspects are facing five counts of murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. 

The 12 are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances. At a previous court appearance, the State indicated that it was going to add the charge of robbery. They were ordered to remain in custody until May 24. 

African News Agency/ANA