Forum 4 Service Delivery councillor Napoleon Webster. FILE PHOTO: ANA

Tlhabane - Forum 4 Service Delivery councillor Napoleon Webster, accused of escaping from lawful custody, appeared briefly in the Bafokeng Magistrate's Court in Tlhabane, near Rustenburg, on Tuesday.

Webster appeared alongside Lizalise Qikane, Vuyolethu Gunguthwa, Fuzile Mgidi, Sandile Zulu, Malibongwe Witness Qwabe, and Zithobile Zekeni who are accused of aiding him to escape.

The case was postponed postponed to April 10.

The State alleges that on January 6, at the Bafokeng Magistrate's Court in Tlhabane, Webster was arrested while attending court proceeding involving murder in which Sabata Petros Chale was hacked to death in Marikana West near Rustenburg.

He was handcuffed and put inside a police vehicle, parked near the court entrance, when a group of men armed with spears, stones and pangas allegedly advanced towards the police vehicle and attempted to free him.

The police fired warning shots but the men managed to free Webster and got into a minibus taxi and fled the scene.

The police gave chase and fired shot at the vehicle's tyres, forcing the group to abandon their vehicle on Mokwena Street in Tlhabane.

Some of the suspects hid in outside toilets of houses in Tlhabane, while Webster was found in a minibus taxi en route to Rustenburg, still handcuffed.

Webster was arrested for the murder of Chale.

Zulu was granted R2,000 bail and the rest, together with Webster, were released on R4 000 bail each. Their bail was extended.

Webster and 13 other Marikana men are expected to appear in the North West High Court on  February 19 in Mogwase, for trial relating to the murder of Chale.

African News Agency/ANA