Manhunt underway as suspect escapes custody at Mpumalanga hospital

An urgent manhunt is underway in Mpumalanga after a suspect recently escaped from a hospital while under police guard. The 37-year-old man had been arrested along with an accomplice after they allegedly stole a vehicle before gunning down a man who had been innocently mowing his lawn, robbing him of his brush cutter, and running him over. Thankfully, the man is understood to have survived the harrowing ordeal.

Police caught up to one of the suspects the following day, but not before the owner of the stolen bakkie got to him first along with a group of people who proceeded to beat him in an act of mob justice. The badly beaten suspect was subsequently arrested and taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries.

South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the second suspect managed to escape the mob that had been rounded up by the bakkie owner and remains at large. He said the suspects were found at Mshadza Trust with the stolen bakkie, but one suspect somehow fled upon the arrival of the bakkie owner who was in the company of a group of people.

“The remaining suspect was then reportedly apprehended and assaulted by this mob and he sustained some injuries. Thereafter, it is said that the matter was reported to police and a case of car theft with an additional charge of armed robbery was opened and the injured man was taken to hospital where he was placed under police guard,” said Hlathi.

According to Hlathi, in the early hours of the morning, the suspect went to the bathroom and “somehow managed to escape through the window”.  Hlathi said that the officers who were tasked with guarding the suspect will face strong punishment should it transpire that they had made critical mistakes that led to him being able to make a brazen break for it.

“It also emerged that the suspect is wanted by police at Nelspruit for several criminal activities. The investigation regarding his escape, is underway both criminally as well as departmentally and if the members who were tasked with a responsibility to guard him, faltered, the law will surely deal with them accordingly,” he said.

Mpumalanga police are also currently requesting that a certain Mr Sibusiso Dalton Nkosi – who is also known as Nunuza – whom they believe can be of great assistance in this investigation, contact the Investigation Officer urgently.

“Anyone who may know of Mr Nkosi’s whereabouts to contact Detective Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Mshwane at 082 449 0223.  Alternatively members of the public can call Crime Stop at 08600 10111,” he said, adding that the public should take care as he “may be armed and approaching him could be dangerous”.

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