South African police are pursuing two Zimbabweans and three South Africans who escaped from a remand prison in Limpopo province on Monday evening.

It is understood that the five prisoners aged between 19 and 39, escaped through a hole inside the cells at around 10PM in Witpoort under Lephalale policing area.

The five were awaiting trial for murder, rape and business burglary. Limpopo Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafhala Mojapelo identified the suspects as Jappie Shiko (29), Lesiba Frans Machaba (27) and Paul Madira (19), all South Africans as well as the two Zimbabweans; Bongani Sibanda (31) and Sipho Mpofu (39).

He said Sibanda has gunshot injuries sustained during a business burglary incident.

“Additional charges of escaping from lawful custody were opened. The circumstances around their escape are still being investigated.

“Police are appealing to community members to assist with any information that can lead to the re-arrest of these escapees to urgently contact Detective Warrant Officer Ratlou Morudu at +27 82 468 8931, the Crime Stop number +27 860010111 or the nearest police station,” said Brig Mojapelo.

Over 20 people including Zimbabweans have escaped from prisons in Limpopo province in the last six months.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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