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Suspect 'cons' his way out of custody

14 August 2015, 12:02 Jeff Wicks, News24

Durban - A man accused of a string of burglaries on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is on the run after allegedly duping court officials into believing he was someone else.

Mduduzi Blessing Zama, 27, reportedly pretended to be another detainee who was convicted on a drugs charge, paid his fine – and waltzed out of the Scottburgh Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Now police have launched a manhunt for the man they say was allegedly behind a spate of business break-ins in recent months, but who has since disappeared into the ether. He spent only two days in custody.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said a warrant of arrest had been issued for Zama following his escape.

“A number of business premises in central Scottburgh had been burgled in recent months and all efforts by the Scottburgh SAPS to identify and arrest the perpetrators had been futile, until a local businessman informed police of two suspicious characters lurking around his premises.

“They were arrested on August 9 and charged with trespassing. While they were in police custody, his investigations led him to Zama’s residence in Amandawe where a number of allegedly stolen items were recovered.”

Some of the property was identified as having been taken during the business burglaries in central Scottburgh. Zama was subsequently linked to a number of burglaries and appeared in the local magistrate’s court on August 11.

“At 12:50 on Tuesday, Zama allegedly misrepresented himself as another accused who had been convicted on a drug related charge and released upon payment of a fine," Zwane said.

"As soon as the court orderlies discovered this, police launched a manhunt for him. A case of escaping from lawful custody has been registered for investigation.”

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