Two prison escapees have been arrested after a group of 12 prisoners escape from lawful custody at Komatipoort police station in Mpumalanga on Saturday night.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said the two were attempting to cross into neighbouring Mozambique when they were rearrested.

“Two escapees, aged 27 and 34, have since been re-arrested at the Lebombo border in Komatipoort after reportedly attempting to cross over to Mozambique. Ten remaining suspects are still at large and are being sought by the police,” said Mdhluli on Sunday afternoon.

“According to the report, the circumstances surrounding the escape is still under investigation.

“However, the provincial commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, visited the station immediately after the incident. She appointed a team led by a senior officer to get into the bottom of what might have transpired,” said Mdhluli.

12 PRISONERS ESCAPE DETAILS

A preliminary investigation has so far revealed that 12 prisoners escaped from the police’s holding cells after battling with police officers.

One police officer is said to have sustained injuries.

“Two service pistols as well as ammunition were also stolen by the suspects during the scuffle. Soon after their escape, members of the security cluster were activated. That is the time when two of the suspects, Reginaldo Fulaho and Narsisco Julius Mavalela, were cornered,” said Mdhluli.

He said one was arrested on Saturday night by SAPS members. The other one was cornered by members of the SA National Defence Force at the border as they attempted to cross into Mozambique.

REMAINING CULPRITS

Police said the remaining suspects are Joseph Ubisi, 35, Josiah Ndlovu, 30; Ruben Macuacua, 30; Amos Cossa, 25. Ardemeto Madevu, 18; Alsido Manique, 24; Francisco Setoho, 38; France Baloi, 29, and Smanga Khoza, 50.

“The suspects were previously arrested for various offences including rape, theft, robbery and kidnapping. Robbery with firearms, possession of suspected stolen properties, as well as possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles,” said Mdhluli.

“An investigation regarding their escape is underway and the suspects will face an additional charge of escaping from lawful custody.

“Police would like to thank members who gave information that led to the rearrest of the two suspects. However, police still appeal to the public including their families not to approach these remaining suspects. As they are considered to be dangerous. But rather share information that may lead to their rearrest with police by calling the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111,” he said.

Alternatively, community members can send information via the My SAPS App.

“All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous,” said Mdhluli.

“An internal investigation regarding possible negligence and aiding has also (commenced). The provincial commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, has vowed that police will not hesitate to take drastic steps against any member who may be found to be at fault.”