Armed suspects help Zimbabwean prisoners escape from custody in South Africa

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has dispatched search teams after certain armed invaders who helped six Zimbabwean prisoners awaiting trial to escape from custody in Makhado. The invasion reportedly took place on Monday, 13 March.

Local reports said that on the fateful day, a group of suspects armed to the teeth attacked police officers along the Vivo road next to the first Sxhoemansdal turnoff outside Louis Trichardt. The gunmen fired at the cops guarding the six detainees who were about to go on trial.

After prevailing over the cops, the armed men drove off with the six prisoners in a grey Mercedes-Benz and a white Toyota Bakkie.

According to Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, who confirmed the incident and revealed the identity of the prison escapees, “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.

The public has been advised against the suspects as they are deemed dangerous.