Fugitive and accomplice to appear in court again

Fugitive and accomplice to appear in court again
Fugitive and accomplice to appear in court again. Image source: SAPS

Two suspects, Muyambo Zacharia Thabo, also known as Thomas Chauke (aged 53), and Simon Mlambo (aged 37), are set to appear before the Modimolle Magistrate’s Court on 25 March 2024 for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

The two were arrested following a tip-off received by the Endangered Species Unit in Limpopo on 14 March 2024 regarding a suspicious white VW Tiguan spotted near Rhino farms in Naboomspruit.

Acting swiftly on the information provided, the police located the vehicle on the R101 at Modimolle around 09h00. Upon approaching the vehicle, which had two occupants including the driver, a search was conducted. Subsequently, a hunting rifle with 10 rounds of ammunition was discovered concealed in the vehicle, leading to the immediate apprehension of the two suspects for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Further investigations have revealed alarming details about one of the suspects who identified himself as Thomas Chauke. The suspect, whose real name is Muyambo Zacharia Thabo, is a wanted escaped prisoner with a history of criminal activities, who escaped from Kgoshi Mampuru Prison on 9 December 2020, where he was serving a life sentence for heinous crimes, including rape, kidnapping, and robbery.

In a disturbing pattern of criminal behaviour, Thabo was previously arrested in October 2021 in Nietverdiend, North West Province, for his involvement in Rhino poaching. However, he managed to escape custody while being transported to court. Subsequently, in May 2023, Thabo was once again apprehended for possession of an unlicensed firearm in Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal province, only to escape during his court appearance.

The Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo SAPS, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has expressed satisfaction with the arrest of Muyambo Zacharia Thabo and has commended the diligent efforts of the Police in responding swiftly to the leads provided.

Muyambo Zacharia Thabo will soon face multiple charges in different Magistrate’s Courts as the legal process unfolds. The South African Police Service continues its thorough investigations into this case to ensure that justice is served and the safety of the public is upheld.

SAPS Newsroom