It was necessary for serial escape accused Bongani Moyo to "walk out" of the Pretoria Magistrate's Court in August as his life had been threatened by a police officer, the court heard on Tuesday.
Submitting closing arguments, advocate Donald Somo, for Moyo, said his client had not "escaped", but had "walked out", allegedly on crutches, on the instructions of the policeman.
Moyo had no intention of escaping until he was approached by investigating officer Frederick Erasmus, said Somo.
The defence has repeatedly testified that Moyo left the Pretoria Magistrate's Court because Erasmus threatened to kill him.
"It was a reasonable decision for him [to escape] considering the manner he had been threatened, as witnessed by his co-accused who have testified in this court," Somo said.
In May, Moyo called two of his co-accused in the serial armed robbery cases to testify for him about the August escape.
Khumbulani Sibanda and Thabani Sibanda said they were put in a holding cell inside the court premises, while Moyo was left sitting on a bench near the cell.
They said Erasmus informed them that Moyo would be killed if he did not disclose information relating to a taxi.
The case continues.
Moyo, Khumbulani and a third person face another charge of attempting to escape from the Pretoria Central prison earlier this year.
They allegedly used prison overalls to scale a perimeter wall, but were seen jumping from the roof of the double-storey prison building by a street vendor, who alerted prison warders.
In March last year, Moyo escaped from the Boksburg prison, where he was being held for bank robberies. He was re-detained at the Beitbridge border post almost three months later when he re-entered South Africa from Zimbabwe.