LEPHALALE — Two prisoners, Witness Shimango (33) and Petrus “Small” Moyo, both Zimbabwean Nationals, escaped from a SAPS vehicle in Marken while they were being transported from Lephalale to Polokwane early Friday morning 17 August.
Shimango was arrested for a series of house robberies and Moyo was arrested for the murder of Dr Werner Emslie and for seriously injuring Dr Mariette Emslie during a farm attack in September 2017.
Shimango and Moyo escaped through the roof of the police vehicle they were being transported in. The driver of the vehicle that drove behind them alarmed the police that the two men were climbing through the roof of the vehicle. They jumped off the vehicle and disappeared in the bushes next to the road. They also managed to remove their leg cuffs.
The Marken community members and members from the Heritage Protection Group (HPG) followed their tracks for the whole of Friday and Moyo was rearrested in Ga-Mushi Village (about 20 km from the initial escape point) around 16:15.
At the time of going to print, Shimango was still on the run.
Moyo escaped from police custody on a previous occasion and was rearrested on the same day.
Moyo appeared in Lephalale Magistrate’s Court on Monday 20 August on a charge of escaping from lawful custody. He was denied bail and the case was postponed to 4 September 2018. He has to appear in Lephalale Magistrate’s Court on 20 September for his previous escape as well as the farm attack case.
Community members reacted with anger to the news that Moyo managed to escape for the second time and the Lephalale Police were widely criticized. The question was also asked why was Moyo’s case postponed on Monday considering the fact that everything about his escape was crystal clear?
Isn’t it an unhealthy situation when prisoners stay in the holding cells for (sometimes) more than a year without being convicted? They have to be transported between Polokwane and Lephalale in order to attend court cases.
Mogol Post spoke to Colonel Daniel Ramakgoakgoa, Lephalale Police Station Commander about how the prisoners managed to escape from the police vehicle and how they managed to unlock their leg cuffs. He said the matter is still being investigated and they are currently unsure as to some of the details of the escape.
He was also surprised that Moyo’s case for his second escape was postponed.
Sakkie Louwrens from HPG thanks the people who provided air support in the search for the two escapees.
Anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of Shimango must contact Sakke Louwrens at 071 798 7954.