Three Limpopo prisoners rearrested after escaping on way to court, fourth still on the run

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Dennis Hove is still at large. (SAPS)
Dennis Hove is still at large. (SAPS)
  • Three of the four prisoners who escaped from a state vehicle on Wednesday have been apprehended.
  • The four had earlier disarmed a police officer before fleeing into nearby bushes.
  • The search for the fourth prisoner continues.

Three of the four prisoners who managed to disarm a police officer and escape while being transported to Mokopane Regional Court in Limpopo were arrested on Saturday.  

The four hijacked two trucks while on the run, said police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo. 

"Four suspects fitting the description of the ones who escaped from the police van along the R101 road south of Polokwane, allegedly hijacked a truck and later abandoned it at Ysyerberg on the N1 road," Mojapelo said.  

"The same suspects allegedly hijacked another truck the next day at Nyl Plaza toll gate and drove it towards Modimolle with the victims inside. The truck hit one of the barricades at Kranskop toll gate and the suspects jumped off and fled into the bushes."

Clifford Matonhori, 31, John Fine, 39, Dennis Hove, 39, who are Zimbabwean nationals and Figos Madisha, 40, a South African, were being transported from Polokwane prison to court along with three other prisoners when they escaped on Wednesday.

escape
A police officer's firearm discovered in the bushes during the arrest of three escaped prisoners in Limpopo. Photo: Supplied.

The other three prisoners remained in the vehicle.

READ | Brazen escape attempt at KwaZulu-Natal prison, 1 inmate killed

A search operation involving Limpopo highway patrol, the SAPS Airwing, trackers and community members led to the rearrest of the men.

Mojapelo said one of the prisoners had shot at the police when he was spotted in the bushes.

"Police returned fire and when they searched the area, they found the suspect in a tree and injured. He was immediately arrested. The other two suspects were arrested in the vicinity. A police firearm robbed during the escape was recovered in the bushes."

The four had been arrested and convicted of armed robberies with aggravating circumstances committed in April 2019 along the N1 road in Belabela, Modimolle, Mookgopong and Mokopane.

They were scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.

The search for Hove continues.

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