Case against Gemballa murder convict escapee postponed

2016-11-14 15:37
Thabiso Ledwaba (Supplied)

Thabiso Ledwaba (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – A man who escaped police custody after being convicted of the murder of German businessman Uwe Gemballa appeared briefly in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Monday morning.

Thabiso Ledwaba and his co-accused Joseph Mabaso, Vusi Matlala and Simphiwe Thage were arrested last Thursday with firearms and police gear at a Sunninghill Mall in Gauteng.

The four appeared amid a high police presence with their hands shackled.

Prosecutor Jimmy Shongwe requested for the matter to be postponed to November 22 for a formal bail application. All four would remain in custody.

According to their charge sheet, the men, aged between 33 and 40, face charges of possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of ammunition and firearm and possession of stolen property.

The group was confronted in the basement of The Core Shopping Centre after security guards became suspicious of their vehicles. One of the vehicles had two number plates on top of each other.

Upon searching the vehicles two rifles, a handgun, ammunition, SA Police Service reflector vests, a cap and radio were found, along with a few other items.

Court official charged

Ledwaba, an alleged associate of convicted drug dealer Radovan Krejcir, managed to escape from the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court in March just days before being sentenced. A court orderly was charged with helping him escape.

Ledwaba and his co-accused at the time Garland Holworthy and Thabo Mohapi had been convicted of Gemballa's murder and kidnapping and theft.

According to The Star, Gemballa was an associate of Krejcir and slain Teazers boss Lolly Jackson.

A fourth accused, Thabiso Melvin Mpye, 29, entered into a plea agreement with the State in which he admitted to kidnapping and killing Gemballa shortly after he arrived in South Africa on February 8, 2010. Gemballa's body was found in a shallow grave in Pretoria in October that year.

In March 2011 Media24 Investigations reported that Krejcir allegedly boasted to his private doctor that he was behind Gemballa's murder.

When Ledwaba escaped he was appearing on a separate robbery and hijacking matter.

The Hawks offered a R100 000 reward at the time for information leading to his arrest, but he remained at large.

Read more on:    radovan krejcir  |  uwe gemballa  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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