Nine suspects escape from Springs Magistrate’s Court

Phumlani Tshabalala, Mzandile Master Mbatha, Mduduzi Richard Sithole and Mongiseni Cyprian Langa are on the run after escaping from the Springs Magistrate's Court on Thursday afternoon. They are all facing murder charges. Image: Springs Advertiser

Three suspects were rearrested after escaping on Thursday, but six are still on the run, four of which are wanted for murder.

Springs police launched an intense manhunt for nine suspects who made a brazen escape from the Springs Magistrate’s Court on Thursday afternoon

Captain Mavela Masondo confirmed to Springs Advertiser that Sibande Sibekezele Xulu, Clayton Donovan Booysen, and Anock Nyiranda were rearrested within hours of their escape, and now face an additional charge of escaping from lawful custody.

Masondo said the search for the six remaining suspects was still ongoing, but that police were prioritising the apprehension of the four murder suspects, as they were considered dangerous and were armed.

Masondo also confirmed the four murder suspects were the same four charged with the killing of Sibusiso Mthomboni in KwaThema in March.

The four have also been charged with possession of a firearm.

The other suspects were in court for housebreaking, theft, possession of drugs, trespassing and being in the country illegally.

The escaped suspects who stand accused of murder and possession of a firearm are Phumlani Tshabalala, Mzandile Master Mbatha, Mduduzi Richard Sithole, and Mongiseni Cyprian Langa, all from KwaThema.

Sibande Sibekezele Xulu is wanted for housebreaking and theft in Springs.

For possession of drugs in Springs, the police are looking for Booysen and William Reddinghuiz.

Augustine Mahlalela is wanted for trespassing in Springs.

Nyirenda is wanted for being in the country illegally.

Springs police Station Commander, Brigadier Thembeka Gwebushe said the suspects escaped at about 1.30pm on Thursday, and did so by overpowering police officers in the passage of the cells, as they were about to be transported from court back to Modderbee Correctional Facility.

“One of our officers was stabbed during the escape, but he is in a stable condition in hospital,” said Gwebushe.

At present, Gwebushe said they could not speculate on the mode of transport used by the suspects to escape.

Police are also investigating how the men gained access to the weapon used to stab the police officer.

Members of the public are warned not to confront the suspects, as they are extremely dangerous and are possibly armed.

Anyone with information about any of the men’s whereabouts should instead contact Lt Col Groenewalt  on 082 319 9886 or Cpt Mavela Masondo 071 608 5490.

This a developing story, and more information will be added as it becomes available.

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