Murder accused fugitive had hit list of witnesses

2014-01-04 11:18

A Pietermaritzburg murder and robbery accused who escaped from police custody had a list of people he wanted to assassinate while on the run.

Within an hour of escaping, Sthembiso Vincent Shabalala had called a key state witness who had testified in his murder trial and threatened to kill her, The Witness newspaper reported today.

Shabalala (34) was rearrested on Thursday night in a house in Morning Rise after police received a tip-off.

He had been on the run since escaping from a Pietermaritzburg court building after an appearance there last month.

The Witness reported that Shabalala had apparently escaped by slipping under the prison van while the prisoners were entering it from the back door to be transported back to prison.

When the van later stopped at a red robot, he let go of the chassis, to which he had been clinging, and dropped to the ground.

Shabalala was facing 10 charges. He was accused of shooting and killing a 39-year-old farmer and stealing his bakkie at his farm in Richmond in August last year.

He was also accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend and a prison warder.

Shabalala also faced a charge of previously escaping from police custody in March last year.

He appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates’ Court yesterday and remained in custody.

He is due back in court on January 22.

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