Manhunt for ’dangerous’ suspects who escaped from custody
Johannesburg - Mpumalanga police have launched a manhunt for suspects who escaped while they were being taken to court for their business robbery case.
One of the men was arrested shortly afterwards in a scuffle that left him with a gunshot wounds and two police officers injured.
He and the two officers are being treated in hospital.
Colonel Donald Mdhluli said that the four men were arrested for a business robbery which occurred on April 10 at Volksrust.
After the robbery, he said, police followed information and arrested them.
He said they were found in possession of a firearm as well as ammunition suspected to have been used in the robbery.
“The suspects reportedly had their first court appearance on April 12, and when they escaped from custody they were about to have their second court appearance.”
On April 19, the day of their second appearance, police were taking them in a van to the Volksrust Magistrate’s Court when the men made a run for it.
“A scuffle broke out and the four suspects escaped. A manhunt was immediately launched. While searching for the suspects, police received information that one of them, Welcome Mncube, 56, was spotted at a bush near the courthouse. Police followed the lead, spotted him and swiftly re-arrested him as he attempted to flee.
“While being arrested, the suspect tried to grab the police officer's service pistol and it went off and he was hit. He was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound and is under police guard. The other two members that sustained injuries during the scuffle at the courthouse are also recovering in hospital.”
Mdhuli said the suspects are also facing a charge of possession of suspected stolen vehicle, in connection with a Ford Ranger used during the business robbery.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the vehicle was reported stolen in Gauteng.
“The other three suspects, Jima Dube, 34; Sandile Gasa, 42; and Emmanuel Sibanda, 28, are still at large and police urge members of the public not to approach them as they are considered to be dangerous. They should rather notify police about their whereabouts.
“Police cannot rule out possibilities of adding more charges with regard to the injured members,” he said.
Members of the community are urged to contact Volksrust police at 017 735 9913 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111 with any information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects.
“Alternatively, members of the public can send information via MySAPS. All information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous,” Mdhluli said.