Gemballa murder escapee sentenced to 25 years

2016-11-22 20:06
Thabiso Ledwaba (Supplied)

Thabiso Ledwaba (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – The man who escaped from police custody after being convicted of the murder of German businessman Uwe Gemballa, has finally been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Thabiso Ledwaba was on Monday sentenced to 25 years for murder, five for kidnapping, and three for theft. The sentences would run concurrently, a source close to the case told News24 on Tuesday.

He would face a separate trial for escaping from police custody.

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

At the time of his escape, Ledwaba was appearing on a separate robbery and hijacking matter.

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

The Hawks offered a R100 000 reward for Ledwaba’s arrest, but he remained elusive. He and three others were arrested after they were found in possession of firearms and police gear at a Sunninghill mall, Johannesburg, on November 10.

They appeared in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Tuesday morning for a bail application.  There was a heavy police presence as Ledwaba and his co-accused Joseph Mabaso, Vusi Matlala, and Simphiwe Thage appeared.

The matter was postponed to November 25 for a formal bail application.

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

They were confronted in the basement of The Core mall after security guards became suspicious about their cars. One of them had two number plates on top of each other.

Two rifles, a handgun, ammunition, SAPS reflector vests, a cap, and radio were among the items found.


Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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