Hawks nail man who escaped twice in 8 months
THE MAN arrested in Cape Town by the Hawks this week as part of their campaign to arrest 10 of the most wanted criminals and suspects in two weeks, escaped from custody twice in the space of eight months and was wanted for bank and house robberies.
But he is not the only Capebased criminal suspect in their sights – they are hunting for some of the country’s most wanted ar med robbers and cash-in-transit heist kingpins.
Zain Mahuta Sebata was arrested at a Bellville townhouse on Thursday, after he escaped from Pollsmoor prison in December 2008. Sebata and two accomplices were sprung from the prison by men masquerading as police officers.
n May, Sebata was one of five men who escaped from the holding cells at the Athlone Magistrate’s Court where they were waiting to appear for their involvement in a bank robbery.
In that episode, the five attacked a lone constable, pointed his service pistol at him and pulled the trigger. The pistol’s magazine was empty.
Hawks spokesman Superintendent Musa Zondi said Sebata had three warrants of arrest against him.
He said he was suspected of being involved in two robberies in Athlone in 2008, including the robbery of the FNB bank at Vangate Mall. There were also charges for house robberies in Bellville in 2006 and Parow in 2008. In 2006, he was found in possession of stolen property and there were also charges relating to his “escape from lawful custody” in December 2008.
“These are just some of the cases. We believe him to be involved in many more,” Zondi said.
Sebata appeared in court this week, but his case was postponed until February 9 to give him chance to a get a lawyer.
Zondi said the arrest had come as a result of a combination of community involvement and “good old-fashioned police work”.
Sebata was the sixth person arrested across the country in a two-week campaign to arrest 10 high-flying criminals and suspects.
The Hawks have been involved in a number of big arrests in the Western Cape in recent weeks, including the arrest of two men who were found in possession of 53 000 mandrax tablets valued at R2.5m in Airport Industria.
They also arrested two Gansbaai men in possession of 73 bags of abalone.
Yesterday, Woodstock police and the Hawks arrested a Zimbabwean, 25, and seized equipment including computers, hard-drives, cellphones worth R500 000 as well as hi-tech skimming devices used in credit card fraud.