The South African Police Service (SAPS) has launched a manhunt for armed men who assisted six Zimbabwean prisoners awaiting trial to escape from custody in Makhado.
Local publications reported that on Monday, 13 March 2022, a group of heavily armed suspects attacked police officers along the Vivo road next to the first Sxhoemansdal turnoff outside Louis Trichardt. The suspects fired gunshots at the cops guarding the six detainees who were about to go on trial.
After subduing the cops, the armed men drove off with the six prisoners in a grey Mercedes Benz and a white Toyota Bakkie.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed the incident and revealed the identity of the prisoners who fled. He said;
“The following prisoners managed to escape during the attack: Forward Shumba, aged 26; Shingirai Nyandome, aged 32; Brilliant Sibanda, aged 26; Erick Sithole, aged 35; Moses Zambara, aged 32 and Alex Nkomo, aged 35.
“All escapees are Zimbabwean nationals. The first five were arrested for aggravated robbery, three counts of attempted murder and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition. The last one was arrested for theft of cables.”
Limpopo Provincial Commissioner of Police, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has ordered SAPS to mobilise resources, including the air wing, to locate and arrest the escapees and suspects.
Members of the public have been asked not to approach the suspects as they are deemed dangerous.