C-Max escapee has luck of the devil, say cops

Police on Friday said that the man who escaped from the high-security C-Max prison in Pretoria on the weekend has “the luck of the devil”.

“He must be the devil’s child himself because we get new leads every day but he has not yet been arrested,” said investigating officer Arnold Boonstra.

“He seems to have the luck of the devil.”

Although there were no new developments by Friday morning, Boonstra said police will continue the hunt for Annanias Mathe (29), who escaped on Saturday night.

The Mozambican national faced 51 charges, including murder, attempted murder, rape, hijacking and armed robbery.

Police in Mpumalanga and the North West arrested two men in separate incidents this week, believing they had found Mathe.

On Monday, a church minister was shot and wounded by North West police who received information that a man resembling Mathe was spotted near a school at Madidi in Klipgat.

Believing that the police were attackers, Reverend Motlotlo Rabotape, from the AME church in Winterveldt, fled. He was wounded in the leg when police fired a warning shot.

Rabotape was taken to hospital and a case of attempted murder was opened.

On Thursday morning, Mpumalanga police thought that they had found Mathe after arresting a man for possession of dagga at Komatipoort.

But the man, strongly resembling Mathe, was without a particular identification mark, said national police spokesperson Director Sally de Beer.

Mathe was detained at A6 section, which houses hardened criminals regarded as escape risks.

Initial reports said it appeared that the “Houdini” stripped and covered his entire body with petroleum jelly to climb out of a window measuring 20cm by 60cm.

Correctional services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said the investigation into how Mathe escaped and whether he had any help from prison officials had not yet been completed.

“There are no new developments in the case yet.
Like the minister (of Correctional Services Ngconde Balfour) said, we need to give this process some time to evolve,” said Wolela.

Boonstra said anyone with useful information could call Captain Fires Jansen van Vuuren on 082 822 8174 or Inspector Selepe on 082 225 2230.—Sapa

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