Court official arrested for Krejcir associate's court escape

2016-03-11 13:05

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Johannesburg - A court official was arrested for allegedly helping Thabiso Ledwaba - a criminal linked to convicted criminal and Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir - escape from the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, Gauteng police said on Friday. 

He was arrested on Thursday and would appear in the same court soon, Brigadier Vish Naidoo said.

According to The Star, the official was arrested after being linked to the crime through CCTV footage. Naidoo said he could not confirm this as it would jeopardise their investigation.

Ledwaba, 28, escaped on Monday morning. He was few days away from being sentenced for the murder and kidnapping of German businessman Uwe Gemballa.

He and his co-accused - Garland Holworthy and Thabo Mohapi - had been convicted of theft and Gemballa’s murder and kidnapping, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw said on Tuesday.

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

A fourth accused, Thabiso Melvin Mpye, 29, entered a plea agreement with the State, in which he admitted to kidnapping and killing 55-year-old 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 matter. He and his co-accused - Modiko Dipale and Percy Segoe - had appeared briefly on one charge of murder, nine of attempted murder, six of robbery with aggravating circumstances, and one each of housebreaking and theft.

Dressed in a smart white shirt, grey pants, and a gold wristwatch, Ledwaba flashed a smile at his co-accused before joining them in the dock. He had an unzipped black bag alongside him.

After he was led down to the court’s holding cells, he held a police officer at gunpoint. Ledwaba took the officer's gun and a set of keys, unlocked a door leading into a courtyard, and walked out through a gate. His feet were still in shackles.

He is still at large.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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