EASTERN CAPE – Hawks investigators have arrested a 40 year old Eastern Cape man on several charges related to the search of four dangerous fugitives that escaped from police custody early this month.
Patrick Mshudulu of Dongwe village in Whittlesea was arrested on Monday on charges related to aiding and abetting. Investigators discovered that Mshudulu had allegedly assisted Lundi Mzimkhulu (33), Mzuvukile Shadrack Mzimkulu (32), Odwa Siqhanqalala (29) and Mbeko Stuurman (33).
The four suspects allegedly escaped on their way back from court. They overpowered two police officers, seized their firearms and used the police van to escape. The police vehicle was later found abandoned in Dongwe location.
Mshudulu is accused of fetching the inmates in Dongwe where the latter allegedly abandoned the police vehicle that they used and organised a hideout for them in the same area. Mzimkhulu, Siqhanqalala and Mzimkulu were initially arrested in November 2018 for their alleged participation in a cash in transit heist in Whittlesea.
They allegedly robbed at gunpoint a security cash van off a substantial amount of money. The investigating team managed to arrest all three accused later that same day and recovered the stolen money and two firearms.
Following their escape, Shadrack Mzimkulu was re-arrested on 12 March 2020 by the Serious Organised Crime Investigation assisted by crime intelligence, detectives, the flying squad, K9 and crime prevention members. Siqhanqalala handed himself over on the same day to Whittlesea Police station. Police recovered from the latter one pistol which was stolen from police during the escape.
The investigation team is still searching for Mzimkhulu. Stuurman, who was initially arrested for rape, is also still at large and efforts by the police are underway to trace him. Mshudulu was released on warning and his next court appearance for aiding a prisoner to escape will be on 15 April 2020.
Shadrack Mzimkulu and Siqhanqalala are set to appear at the same court on 29 April 2020 for escaping from lawful custody, robbery of police firearms and theft.