6 Zimbabwean suspects sprung free by gunman from SA prison transport

BULAWAYO – Six Zimbabwean suspects being transported from a courthouse to jail escaped on Monday after an armed gang ambushed their prison transport near the town of Louis Trichardt in South Africa’s Limpopo Province.

Five of the men – Forward Shumba, 26, Shingirai Nyandome, 32, Brilliant Sibanda, 26 and Erick Sithole, 35 – were being held for aggravated robbery, three counts of attempted murder and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

The sixth suspect, Moses Zambara, 32, was awaiting trial on charges of stealing copper cables.

Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said: “Police in Makhado have launched a massive manhunt for a group of heavily armed suspects who attacked and shot at police members transporting six awaiting trial prisoners and managed to free them this morning. The suspects thereafter took the six prisoners and sped off in a grey Mercedes Benz and a white Toyota Bakkie.

“The incident happened along Vivo Road next to the first Schoemansdal turnoff outside Louis Trichardt.”

The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe “ordered the mobilisation of the necessary police resources, including the air-wing, to hunt down the escapees and the suspects,” said Mojapelo.

Police advised the public not to approach the suspects “under any circumstances as they are considered dangerous but must instead call the police.”

Anyone with information may contact Colonel Nyelisani Mabatha +2782 565 8171

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