UPDATE: SAPS launch manhunt after Johannesburg High Court prison break

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks

The judges have reportedly been moved to safety.

The Johannesburg High Court had been put on lockdown after prisoners allegedly tried to escape on Wednesday.

At the time of writing, there were very few details about the attempted prison break but according to reliable sources, Mandy Wiener and Yusuf Abramjee, the court’s judges had even been moved to safety in the interim.

SAPS spokespeople could not be reached at the time of writing and witnesses had not yet come forward.

This is a developing story and we will keep you updated.


The police have launched a manhunt for the two awaiting trial prisoners who escaped from the Johannesburg High Court yesterday, causing the court to go into lockdown mode.

According to a statement issued by police, the incident happened on Wednesday 5 December 2018 at approximately 2pm.

The first escapee is 31-year-old Mongezi Mcunukelwa who was appearing in court for two counts of murder committed in Katlehong in July 2017.

The second escapee is Sbonelo Nkosingiphe Thwala, 25, who was also appearing for two counts of murder committed in Jeppe in April this year as well as possession of unlawful firearm and ammunition according to SAPS.

Captain Mavela Masondo added in a statement: “An additional charge of escaping from lawful custody will be added to both suspects.”

Nobody who was at the scene at the time was injured and Gauteng police management has appointed a team of senior detectives to trace the suspects and investigate the circumstances surrounding the escape.

Police are appealing to anyone who might have information of the whereabouts of these dangerous suspects or information that can help in the investigation, to please call the nearest police station or call crime stop on 08600 10111.

Police could offer a reward for information that could lead to the apprehension of the escapees.

Please do not attempt to apprehend the suspects yourself as they are deemed dangerous.

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