Police launch manhunt for awaiting trial escapee who killed cop

2016-10-12 17:09
Joshua Bomba Shongwane (File, Supplied by SA Police Service)

Joshua Bomba Shongwane (File, Supplied by SA Police Service)

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Johannesburg - A manhunt has been launched for an awaiting trial prisoner who shot and killed a police officer at the Tembisa Magistrate's Court on Wednesday morning, Gauteng police said.

"Police are appealing to the members of the public who may see him to contact the police as he is considered to be armed and dangerous," Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

According to Dlamini, Joshua Bomba Shongwane was due to appear in court for nine hijacking cases. The crimes were committed in Tembisa, Rabie Ridge and Kagiso during 2012.

He had previously escaped from the court cells in 2015, but was rearrested.

Just before 09:00 on Monday, Shongwane held up three police officers and pointed a firearm at them.

"He took the cell keys and locked them in an office inside the court cells. He allegedly went downstairs, where he shot a captain and escaped," Dlamini said.

"The officer was shot in the lower body and died at the scene."

Selfless, dedicated

Dlamini said an investigation was in progress to determine how the awaiting trial prisoner got hold of a firearm while he was in the court cells.

Earlier, an eyewitness who asked to remain anonymous told News24 that the slain police officer was escorting the suspect to court.

"While making their way up the stairs the suspect disarmed the officer and shot him," the witness said.

Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said the province had been robbed of a selfless and dedicated member of the police service.

"I am totally disturbed by the brazen attack and disregard of our police officers by these callous criminals. I appeal to the criminal justice system to apprehend the suspect and ensure that he receives the harshest sentence," she said.  

The area around the court's back gate was cordoned off with yellow police tape. A group of people were standing around the court chatting among themselves, while a handful of officers could be seen guarding the gate.
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