PICS: 'Very dangerous' prisoners escape from custody in Limpopo with a SAPS firearm
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Pretoria – Four “dangerous” prisoners have escaped from custody in Limpopo after disarming a police officer, and the South African Police Service (SAPS) has launched an extensive manhunt seeking to recapture them.
“The police in Westenburg have launched a search operation for four dangerous prisoners who managed to escape from a police motor vehicle along the R101 road next to Eerstegoud Trading Store [on Wednesday] 21 July 2021 at about 11h30,” said Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
He said seven prisoners were being transported from Polokwane Correctional Centre to Mokopane, for sentencing, when four of them allegedly escaped.
“The prisoners also managed to grab the service pistol belonging to a police member during the incident and fled into the nearby bushes. The other three prisoners remained in the vehicle,” said Mojapelo.
The SAPS released the names and photographs of the escapees.
“The suspects were arrested and later convicted for robbery with aggravating circumstances which they committed during April 2019 in the Mokopane policing area. They were to be sentenced on Friday 23 July 2021,” said Mojapelo.
The South African Police Service is warning members of the public not to approach the escapees, as they are considered to be “very dangerous”. Community members are encouraged to notify the SAPS if they identify the wanted men.
“The provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has ordered a full probe into the circumstances of the escape with a view of determining exactly what happened. She also appealed to community members to inform the police when spotting these criminals,” said Mojapelo.
“Anyone with information that can assist the police to find the four prisoners should contact Westenburg detectives commander Captain Tshikudo on 0825658566 or crime stop number 0860010111 or the nearest police station.”
In November 2019, four “dangerous” awaiting-trial prisoners escaped from police holding cells in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, prompting the SAPS to launch a manhunt.
African News Agency (ANA)