Two 'dangerous' Eastern Cape escapees re-arrested

One of the three escapees is still at large. Police warn that he could be armed

Two of the inmates that escaped from Middledrift Correctional Centre on the eve of the Elections have been arrested after trying to run away from police.
Two of the inmates that escaped from Middledrift Correctional Centre on the eve of the Elections have been arrested after trying to run away from police.

Two of the inmates that escaped from Middledrift Correctional Centre on the eve of the elections have been re-arrested.

Aviwe Nkwalase, 29, and Sizwe Mhlana, 33, were nabbed on Thursday while trying to run away from police who spotted them in Zwelitsha.

Mhlana was serving 10 years for robbery and Nkwalase was serving 16 years for robbery with aggravated circumstances.

Police spokesman Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said the arrest was part of an ongoing intelligence driven operation involving King William's Town Flying Squad, K9, provincial tracing unit and Zwelitsha detectives.

“According to the information, the two escapees are believed to have been moving between Zwelitsha and Sweetwaters when they were spotted near the traffic lights on Thursday,” he said.

“Upon realising that they were at the risk of being identified by the police, they started running towards a nearby public park where they were subsequently arrested.”

Kinana said it was unclear where they had been hiding and the activities in which they had been involved.

“Police investigation is on-going to also establish if they did not commit other crimes after breaking away from the prison,” he said.

Andisa Vas – who was serving 12 years for attempted murder and robbery – is still on the run. 

Andisa Vas
Andisa Vas

“Again, people are cautioned not to make any attempt to apprehend the remaining suspect as it is believed that he might be armed,” Kinana said.

The trio were noticed missing by correctional services officials during the inmates lockup. It remains unknown as to how they escaped.

At the time, police said that they would be looking into whether the three were linked to a hijacking shortly after the escape.  

Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga reiterated her concerns about criminality which is perpetuated by those that had already been convicted and sentenced by the courts of law.

The two will be charged with escaping from lawful custody and are expected to appear in the Middledrift Magistrate's Court on Monday.

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