Escaped awaiting trail prisoner fatally shot, another wounded and third still at large

PRAKTISEER – A 23 year-old awaiting trial prisoner who escaped from Tubatse police holding cells with two others on Monday 19 February has been fatally shot while the second 31 year-old escapee was shot in the leg and re-arrested.

This after police in Tubatse launched a massive manhunt for three awaiting trial prisoners after they escaped from police holding cells on Monday 19 February 2018.

It is alleged at about 06:30 that morning police heard a hard knock at the cell doors and responded swiftly, and on arrival, they found three prisoners had escaped through the roof of the exercise room.

Police identified the escaped prisoners as Sandile Emmanuel Lebambo (31), who was arrested for rape, house breaking and theft, and assault GBH. Simon Mokone (23) was arrested for robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of a firearm without licence, and possession of suspected stolen properties. The third was Tumelo Vincent Kgoedi (28), who was arrested for murder and attempted murder.

The circumstances behind the escaping incident are still subject to police investigations as they are unfolding.

L.t Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said a dedicated Task Team followed up on information on the movements of the escapees until they spotted them at two separate locations.

Ngoepe said upon seeing that he was cornered by police, one escapee Simon Mokone (23), allegedly started shooting at police who retaliated and during that process, he was fatally wounded.

“The second escapee, Zandile Emmanuel Lebambo (31) was shot in the leg while trying to evade arrest after he was found performing some rituals. Lebambo was treated at a local hospital, discharged and will appear before the Praktiseer Magistrates Court outside Burgersfort soon on charge of escaping from lawful custody,” explained Ngoepe.

The manhunt for the remaining escapee, Tumelo Vincent Kgoedi is still continuing. Anyone with information which can lead to the re-arrest of the remaining escapee may contact Brigadier Lucas Tlhako at 082 565 7584 or Colonel Lazarus Ngele at 082 573 3645 or the crime stop number 08600 10111 or the sms crime line 32211 or Tubatse Police Station on 013 2168 500 or the nearest police station.

Thapelo Motseo

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