In a sh0cking turn of events, a 32-year-old Zimbabwean man, Anthony Makhusha, has escaped from the holding cells at Lephalale Police Station in the Waterberg district of South Africa’s Limpopo province. Makhusha, who was awaiting trial for fraud, seized the opportunity to make his daring escape last Thursday, sending local police on a frantic manhunt.
Colonel Malasela Ledwaba, the spokesperson for Limpopo provincial police, confirmed the incident in a statement released yesterday. According to Ledwaba, Makhusha allegedly slipped away from the Community Service Centre around 1 pm, and the circumstances surrounding his escape are currently being investigated. The police have opened a case of escaping from lawful custody and are determined to track down the fugitive.
In response to the incident, Limpopo’s provincial commissioner of police, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has appealed to the community for assistance in locating the suspect. Hadebe cautioned against any attempts by individuals to apprehend Makhusha themselves and urged them to provide information to the police instead.
Authorities are urging anyone with information about Makhusha’s whereabouts to contact the Detectives Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Johannes Hlongwane, at +2782 565 7968, Crime Stop at +278600 10111, or the nearest police station. The search is in full swing, with hopes of swiftly bringing the escaped suspect back into custody.
This incident follows a similar pattern of Zimbabwean nationals eluding South African law enforcement. Just a few months ago, a group of heavily armed men ambushed a police vehicle, freeing six Zimbabweans who were being transported to another prison in Limpopo province. The escapees were facing charges ranging from robbery to attempted murder and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
Instances of Zimbabwean prisoners escaping South African facilities have occurred in the past as well. Last year, seven Zimbabweans broke free from the Grahamstown Correctional Facility in Makhanda, while in September 2019, thirteen prisoners from Zimbabwe escaped from a holding facility in Polokwane.
As the search for Anthony Makhusha intensifies, South African authorities remain committed to apprehending the fugitive and preventing further incidents of this nature. The public is urged to stay vigilant and report any relevant information that may aid in his recapture.