Rhino poacher prison escapee still on the run

2016-11-21 16:15

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Cape Town - A convicted rhino poacher who escaped from Barberton TB Specialised Hospital last month is still on the run, Justice Minister Michael Masutha says.

Masutha was responding to a written parliamentary question from DA MP James Selfe on Monday. Selfe had asked what action the minister was taking in apprehending 44-year-old Raphael Nyamazane.

"The Department of Correctional Services in conjunction with the SAPS are currently following up on all possible leads to effect the rearrest of the escapee and will do everything possible to ensure his rearrest as soon as possible."

Masutha confirmed that two security guards who had been guarding Nyamazane at the time have been suspended until the investigation is finalised.

Nyamazane was serving a 22-year sentence for a rhino poaching-related case, Mpumalanga News reported.


He escaped from the custody of the Barberton Maximum Correctional Centre around 03:00 on Wednesday, October 19, after being admitted to Barberton TB Specialised Hospital.

He was sentenced in July 2016 for trespassing in the Kruger National Park, possession of an unlawful firearm and possession of unlawful ammunitions with intent to commit crime.

He was described as a danger to society.

Masutha also furnished details of the prison escape attempts from various hospitals located off-site of their detention centres over the last five years.

Twelve inmates have successfully escaped from hospitals around the country since December 2013.

Six of them have since been rearrested.

A further three inmates had attempted unsuccessful prison escapes in 2015.

Officials and guards involved in the cases received punishments including a written warning, a two-week salary fine and dismissal.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  rhino poaching  |  prisons  |  crime

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