Mathe admits to escapes, denies other charges

Annanias Mathe has admitted to twice escaping from prison but has pleaded not guilty to another 69 charges against him, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported on Monday.

Mathe made headlines when he escaped from the Pretoria C-Max prison, regarded as the most secure in the country, in November 2006. He was captured the following month.

Mathe had also made an earlier successful escape from Johannesburg prison.

Mathe faces 77 charges including rape, attempted murder and housebreaking.

Appearing in the Johannesburg High Court, Mathe, a Mozambican national, heard the charges against him translated from English into Mozambican Shangaan.

He pleaded guilty to escaping from prison but not guilty to 69 other counts.

The cases against him were reported in Rustenburg and Lichtenburg in North West, Thabazimbi in Limpopo and several locations in Gauteng.—Sapa