Escaped rhino poaching suspect now also wanted for killing cop

2015-05-21 14:45
(File, Shutterstock)

(File, Shutterstock)

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Johannesburg - A man who escaped from custody before appearing in an Mpumalanga court for rhino poaching has allegedly shot dead the investigating officer in his case, the Hawks said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said Mthobisi Lennox Ngwenyama, 33, escaped on May 13 just as he was about to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court on a charge of rhino poaching from 2014.

The investigating officer, Constable Joseph Baloyi, 35, who was stationed at the Kabokweni police station was shot dead while driving home on Wednesday evening.

"Hawks have learnt that Ngwenyama’s hit list includes two other Hawks members and are determined to bring the suspect to book before any further bloodshed," Mulaudzi said.

He said Ngwenyama was also facing charges relating to a hijacking that he allegedly committed last year, and a case of house robbery and two of house breaking from 2012.

"A case of attempted murder was also registered against Ngwenyama on Monday this week after he allegedly shot his friend in the leg following an argument over money."

Acting Hawks head, Major General Mthandazo Ntlemeza, said he was shocked at the "brutal and barbaric attack" on Baloyi.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Constable Baloyi and will be deploying members [of] the chaplaincy unit to offer counselling in this their time of grief," he said.

“We wish to assure the public that our resolve to win the battle against violent crimes will not be shaken by this incident. Additionally, these blatant attacks on our members will not deter us from carrying out our duty to the nation.

"The manhunt is on, we will not rest until Ngwenyama is behind bars."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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