Probe as cops fail to report escape

Secunda, Mpumalanga - The Secunda police station in Mpumalanga is under investigation for taking nearly two weeks to report that an alleged farm attacker had escaped.

Amos Stefan Mahlangu, 28, who is suspected of killing an elderly couple on a Breyten farm last year, went missing from the police cells on February 21, but the station only opened a case on Sunday.

"We are very concerned about the matter," said Eastern Highveld police spokesperson Captain Sibongile Nkosi on Wednesday. "We don't know why it took them so long to report him missing. It was up to them to ensure that he never escaped."

She said an internal probe was being held while police tried to trace Mahlangu.

Mahlangu was arrested on double murder and rape charges after the Bezuidenhouts were attacked on Vogelfontein farm on November 6 last year.

Jan Hendrik Bezuidenhout, 80, was found in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor. He had been stabbed several times in the body and head. His wife Anna Cornelia Bezuidenhout, 76, was found stabbed dead in the bathroom. She had also been raped.

Their house was ransacked and three firearms were stolen from the safe.

Mahlangu was arrested shortly after the attack and it is thought that he escaped when another awaiting trial prisoner with a similar name - Vusi Amos Mahlangu - was booked to be transferred to Bethal prison.

The escape brings to 34 the number awaiting trial prisoners who broke out of jail in the province since the start of the year.

Police have managed to re-arrest 11 of them. - African Eye News Service

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