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Manhunt launched after four ‘harmful’ inmates escape from police custody in Polokwane


Police have launched a manhunt for four harmful prisoners.

Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images

  • Four harmful prisoners have escaped from police custody in Limpopo.
  • They had been to be sentenced for aggravated theft on Friday.
  • One of them allegedly stole a police officer’s service firearm in the course of the escape.

A manhunt has been launched for four harmful prisoners who allegedly escaped from a police car in Westenburg, Polokwane.

The escape befell on the R101 subsequent to the Eerstegoud Trading Store on Wednesday at about 11:30.

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At the time, seven prisoners had been being transported from the Polokwane Correctional Centre to Mokopane for sentencing when four escaped, police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo stated.

“The prisoners also managed to grab the service pistol belonging to a police member during the incident and fled into the nearby bushes. The other three prisoners remained in the vehicle,” Mojapelo stated.

The escaped prisoners have been recognized as John Fine, 39, Dennis Hove, 39, Figos Madisha, 40, and Clifford Matonhori, 31.

They had been convicted of theft with aggravating circumstances for a theft dedicated in April 2019 in the Mokopane policing space. They had been to be sentenced on Friday.

“The police warn members of the community not to approach the suspects as they are considered to be very dangerous, and [the public] should instead contact their local police station,” Mojapelo stated.

Meanwhile, Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has ordered a full probe into the circumstances of the escape.

“Anyone with information that can assist the police [in finding] the four prisoners should contact Westenburg detective commander Captain Tshikudo on 082 565 8566, Crime Stop [on] 08600 10111 or the nearest police station,” Mojapelo stated.

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