Pretoria – A member of the SANDF has appeared in court alongside a Zimbabwean man for allegedly launching an armed attack on police officers on Monday and freeing six awaiting-trial prisoners who have since vanished.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the two suspects, Kedibone Albert Langa, 38, a member of the SANDF, and Thabani Sibanda, 28, have appeared before the Louis Trichardt Magistrate’s Court.
The two men appeared in court on Wednesday and were remanded in custody until Wednesday next week for further investigations.
“Members of the Limpopo tracking team and murder and robbery unit last night arrested two suspects for their alleged involvement in the attack on police members transporting six awaiting-trial prisoners from Makhado Correctional Centre to Senwabarwana and freeing all of them,” said Mojapelo.
“The incident happened along the Vivo Road on Monday, March 13.”
A dedicated SAPS team followed-up on information received about the suspects and arrested the 28-year-old Zimbabwean national, believed to be the brother of one of the escapees, and the member of the SANDF, aged 38.
“The suspects were arrested in Musina and the two motor vehicles that they used in the commission of crime, a grey Mercedes-Benz and a white Toyota bakkie, were also found during the arrest and confiscated,” said Mojapelo.
The six awaiting-trial prisoners who are still at large have been identified by police as follows:
▪️Forward Shumba, aged 26
▪️Shingirai Nyandome, aged 32
▪️Brilliant Sibanda, aged 26
▪️Erick Sithole, aged 35
▪️Moses Zambara, aged 32
▪️Alex Nkomo aged, 35
Langa and Sibanda, who are accused of freeing the escapees, are facing an assortment of charges ranging from aiding and abetting, conspiracy to commit crime, possession of unlawful firearms and ammunition, attempted murder, defeating the ends of justice, malicious damage to property and discharging of a firearm.
Meanwhile, the provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe, has commended the police officers who effected the arrests.
Hadebe urged community members with information about the escapees and the remaining suspects who attacked the police to assist in the ongoing investigation.
“Anyone with information should contact Colonel Nyelisani Mabatha on 082 565 8171, the Crime Stop number 08600 10111 or send a message via the My SAPS app,” the police said.