Murder suspect who escaped from Walmer police station rearrested
The murder suspect who escaped from the Walmer police station about two weeks ago has been rearrested - in Aliwal North.
Sizwe Jika, 27, who had been described by police as extremely dangerous was wanted in connection with the murder of Ann Smit, 86, who was beaten with a hammer at her Kamma Park home in May.
She later died.
Jika was arrested while walking in Adam Road, Charlo and taken to the Walmer police station on September 21 but he escaped through a window after his fingerprints were taken.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed he had been found in Aliwal North - nearly 500km from Port Elizabeth - on Wednesday.
“Since his escape, a team of detectives have travelled all over the province looking for him. Several houses of known associates were raided in the Bay during this time. Information was received last week that the suspect has family in Burgersdorp [near Aliwal North] and that he also knows various people in small towns across the province,” she said.
“Since then, detectives have been following up leads and staking out various locations where he could be hiding.”
On Wednesday morning, detectives received a tip off that he had been spotted walking in the Aliwal North Central Business District.
“A team was mobilised and also contacted the Aliwal North Operational Command Centre (OCC) to ask for assistance. The OCC deployed mass resources in the area and the suspect [Jika] was caught walking in the street,” Naidu said.
By 6pm detectives from Port Elizabeth were en route to collect Jika and bring him back to Port Elizabeth.
Mount Road cluster commander Major General Thembisile Patekile said Jika had been connected to seven burglaries in the Mount Road, Walmer and Kabega Park policing areas.
“He has also been connected, via forensic evidence gathered on crime scenes, to the murder [of Smit]. Additional charges of house robbery and escaping for custody will be added as well,” he said.
“It is important for police to work in close collaboration with their colleagues across the provinces in order to root out many dangerous criminal elements who move from one place to another.
“At this stage we are still working on information and will work to ascertain if he is connected to any other unsolved crimes across the Bay.”
Smit was beaten and left for dead inside her house in Martha Street, Kamma Park, on May 28.
She was found after Neighbourhood Watch patrol member Gerrit Koen – who lives in the same street – spotted two men scaling her perimeter wall and gave chase.
In the meantime, patroller Marco van Niekerk went to the house and found a semiconscious Smit lying in a pool of blood in the house.
Detectives also found an axe lying outside in the garden and a hammer inside the house.
Smit died in Greencares Hospital weeks after being beaten during the robbery.
She was discharged from hospital about a week after the attack but was readmitted a few days later due to complications.
Jika is expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday.