Police launch manhunt to find suspect who escaped hospital while under police guard

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On Tuesday police in Mpumalanga announced that a manhunt has been launched to find a suspect who fled from a hospital, while being under lawful custody, over the weekend.

Police report that on Friday, 26 February 2021 the man and his accomplice stole a bakkie parked outside a crèche and left the scene. Later, they shot a man who was trimming lawns with a brush cutter. They stole the brush cutter and ran over the man’s body with the bakkie.

“The owner of the bakkie is said to have sought assistance from some community members who began searching for his bakkie and suspects thereof. They (suspects) were then later found at Mshadza Trust with the stolen bakkie where one suspect somehow fled upon the arrival of the bakkie owner who was in the company of a group of people. The remaining suspect was then reportedly apprehended and assaulted by this mob and sustained some injuries.

“Thereafter, it is said that the matter was reported to police and a case of car theft with an additional charge of armed robbery was opened and the injured man was taken to hospital where he was placed under police guard,” Brigadier Leonard Hlathi says.

The suspect is reported to have gone to the bathroom in the early hours of Saturday, 27 February and presumably escaped through the window.

Hlathi says the suspect is wanted by Nelspruit police for involvement in other criminal activities.

Police say that an investigation has been launched, both criminally and departmentally, and that the law will deal with the police guards if they were found to be negligent.