Notorious criminal nabbed

2010-05-18 00:00

A 42-YEAR-OLD man believed to be one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most wanted fugitives was finally nabbed by members of the public They handed him over to the police after he was caught stealing a goat from a kraal in Ntabamhlophe, near Estcourt, on Saturday night.

The suspect, linked to a string of murder, rape and robbery cases, was caught by furious locals when he tried to flee with a goat from the kraal, police said.

Described as a “headache” by one Ntabamhlophe resident, the suspect had been hiding in the bush since 2007 when police began tailing him for his crime spree.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that the suspect had resorted to living in the bush to escape detection.

Thobelani Mvelase, a ward councillor from Bhekabezayo, an area under Ntabamhlophe, told The Witness that the suspect was the community’s greatest nightmare.

“In 2007 it is alleged that he raped a woman of about 63 three times,” Mvelase said. He said the man once attacked two of three community members who went into the bush to get firewood.

“He shot the boy to death and raped the girl and the third female companion escaped,” said Mvelase.

According to Lindani Laba, a ward councillor in the eZinyosini area of Ntabamhlophe, the man also raped two teenagers aged 15 and 16 about two months ago.

“He also allegedly stabbed a pregnant girl three times,” Laba told The Witness.

“When the sun sets he usually comes back to the residential area to break into people’s houses and steal food,” he said.

A source who asked not to be named said a teenage boy heard some noises outside at around 11 pm on Saturday. “The boy peeked through a window and saw him in the kraal. He reported this to his elders … and in a short time he was caught,” the source said.

Zwane confirmed that the suspect was charged with attempted stock theft and will appear in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court today.

“He will also face his previous murder, rape and armed robbery cases,” said Zwane.

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