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Polowane - Another of the five awaiting trial prisoners who escaped by jumping from the back of a police van in Polokwane last week has been rearrested, Limpopo police said on Sunday.

Abel Modiba, 31, of Motjeteng village near Lenyenye outside Tzaneen, was rearrested at Rwanda village in the Nwamitwa area outside Tzaneen during a sting joint operation by Haenertsburg South African Police Service (SAPS) officers and officers of the Tzaneen policing cluster tracking team on Saturday, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.

The hunt for the three remaining escapees was still under way. The prisoners were allegedly being transported from Haenertsburg police station outside Tzaneen to Polokwane on the afternoon of November 14 when they "jumped from the back of a moving police van" in Polokwane at the Hospital and Landros Maree streets intersection, he said.

One prisoner, initially arrested for house robbery in the Haenertsburg policing area, was rearrested shortly after the escape. The remaining four prisoners, who were arrested for different crimes including house robberies and armed robberies in the Haenertsburg policing area, managed to flee.

The remaining escapees were identified as:

- Thomas Nkuna, 34, from Rwanda village in the Nwamitoa area outside Tzaneen but who was also living in Wisani village in the Mhlaba-Cross area outside Tzaneen;

- Jeffrey Nkuna, 27, from Rwanda village in the Nwamitoa area outside Tzaneen; and 

- George Nkuna, 19, from Wisani village in the Mhlaba-Cross area outside Tzaneen.

A case of escaping from lawful custody had been opened and the rearrested man would appear in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court soon, Ngoepe said.

Anyone with information that could lead to the rearrest of the three remaining escapees should please contact Colonel Linky Mathebula on 064-756-8218 or Detective Warrant Officer Andrew Ngamuni on 082-414-3031, or the Crime Stop number 08600-10111 or Crime Line SMS 32211, or the nearest police station.

Police investigations into the circumstances of the escape were still continuing, Ngoepe said.

African News Agency (ANA)