Africa-Press – South-Africa. Limpopo police are searching for a man who escaped from police custody after he was arrested in connection with a shooting that claimed the lives of two of his estranged wife’s relatives and left her and three of her relatives wounded.
Police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said 35-year-old-year Thabo Ali Molobela escaped while he was under police guard at Sekororo Hospital in Madeira, near Tzaneen.
Molobela, who is understood to be a security guard, was initially arrested on 14 September in Santeng village, near Hoedspruit in connection with the 19 August shooting in Makgophong village.
It is alleged that he opened fire on his wife while she was in a car with five of her relatives.
The woman’s 29-year-old sister, Adelaide Mapulane, and her cousin, Reneilwe Phogole, 39, died.
A one-year-old child was hospitalised in a critical condition.
It is alleged that he then tried to kill himself but that police managed to disarm him.
Ledwaba said Molobela was hospitalised for treatment of a gunshot wound after he reportedly shot himself during his arrest.
He was under police guard when he escaped.
“The circumstances surrounding the escape are currently under investigation. The provincial commissioner of the South African Police Service, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has cautioned anyone who can be found to be assisting a fugitive to note that it is a criminal offence and they will face the full might of the law,” Ledwaba said.
Anyone who has information to assist with Molobela’s rearrest can contact the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Phaladi Makola, at 082 749 2233 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111.
News24 previously reported that two awaiting trial prisoners escaped from the George Correctional Centre in the Western Cape in August.
Calisto Chaderek, 32, escaped while awaiting trial for housebreaking and theft, while Trevor Moliwa, 37, was accused of possession of a firearm and stolen items.
In June, North West police launched a manhunt for two awaiting trial prisoners who escaped from custody at the Stilfontein police holding cells.
Mandla Mongwe, 30, and Nemagovhani Thendo, 36, were in custody for aggravated robbery and burglary.
In the 2021/2022 financial year, 22 inmates managed to escape, and 117 prisoners broke out of prisons the year before.