Joburg High Court escape: Alleged serial killer among two men at large

Both Mongezi Mcunukelwa and Sbonelo Nkosingiphe Thwala were facing murder charges

Joburg High Court escape: Alleged serial killer Mongezi Mcunukelwa among the two men at large

6 December 2018

There is still no sign of the two awaiting trial prisoners who escaped from the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday afternoon.

The two men are Mongezi Mcunukelwa and Sbonelo Nkosingiphe Thwala.

Mcunukelwa is an alleged serial killer accused in connection with two murder cases and one attempted murder.

He abandoned his bail application at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on Tuesday - the day before his escape.

Fellow escapee, 25-year-old Thwala appeared in court for a murder committed in Jeppe in April as well as the alleged possession of an unlawful firearm and ammunition.

Both men will now have an additional charge of escaping from lawful custody added to their names.

Police are trying to establish how the men escaped when they were meant to be on lockdown in cells based in the basement of the premises.

"We don't know how they escaped, but our investigators are working around the clock, including viewing CCTV footage," Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo told News24.

"Gauteng police management has appointed a team of senior detectives to trace the suspects and investigate the circumstances surrounding the escape," Masondo added.

He warned the public against attempting to apprehend the men, saying they should rather contact law enforcement agencies because the men were "dangerous".

Meanwhile, the Department of Correctional Services blamed the police for the escape, saying that awaiting trial prisoners were in the police's custody once they left a prison.

"We are aware of the incident, but the police will be the right ones to comment on the matter," said national spokesperson Logan Maistry.