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SANDF Soldier Arrested for Attack on Police that Led to Prisoners’ Escape in Limpopo

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A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) member and an accomplice have been arrested for the brazen attack on police officials that led to the escape of six awaiting-trial prisoners in Makhado, Limpopo on Monday.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said members of the Limpopo tracking team and murder and robbery unit made the arrests after a heavily armed gang opened fire on a vehicle transporting the prisoners. One police officer was injured. The prisoners were on their way to court for bail applications.

“Last night [Tuesday] they arrested the 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. The incident happened along the Vivo road on Monday, March 13,” Mojapelo said on Wednesday.

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Thabani Sibanda, 28, believed to be the brother of one of six awaiting trial suspects who escaped on Monday from police custody after the police escorting them were attacked by a heavily armed gang, was arrested on Tuesday evening in connection with the attack.

SANDF Soldier Arrested for Attack on Police that Led to Prisoners' Escape in Limpopo
Thabani Sibanda, 28, believed to be the brother of one of six awaiting trial suspects who escaped on Monday from police custody after the police escorting them were attacked by a heavily armed gang, was arrested on Tuesday evening in connection with the attack.
Image: Supplied

“The two suspects, Kedibone Albert Langa, 38, who is a member of the SANDF, and Thabani Sibanda, 28, a Zimbabwean, [on Wednesday] appeared in the Louis Trichardt magistrate’s court and were remanded until March 22 for further investigations.

“They face various charges, including aiding and abetting, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of unlawful firearms and ammunition, attempted murder, defeating the ends of justice, malicious damage to property and discharging of a firearm.”

According to Mojapelo, Sibanda is believed to be the brother of one of the escapees.

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He said the suspects were arrested in Musina.

“The two motor vehicles they used in the commission of the crime, a grey Mercedes-Benz and a white Toyota bakkie, were found during the arrest and confiscated.”

The escapees still at large are Forward Shumba, 26, Shingirai Nyandome, 32, Brilliant Sibanda, 26, Erick Sithole, 35, Moses Zambara, 32, and Alex Nkomo, 35.

Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Thembi Hadebe has commended the officers for the arrests and urged community members with information about the escapees and the remaining suspects to assist the police.

Anyone with information should contact Col Nyelisani Mabatha on 082 565 8171, the crime stop number 086 00 10111 or send a message via MySAPSApp. – TimesLIVE

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