Rape accused escape from lawful custody


By Agreement Mabunda

POLOKWANE: Members of SAPS in Lebowakgomo,  Capricorn  District, have launched a search for an awaiting trial prisoner who escaped from lawful custody. Mahlaela Patrick (37) is reported to have been attending Thabamoopo Court, on May 20, 2024.

He was appearing in court on four counts of rape committed at Seruleng village in 2015 and Byldrift in 2016, where three young ladies were gang raped in the bushes by four unknown men, one of whom was him, and two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

An additional charge of escaping from lawful custody will be added to the suspect. No one was injured during the escape.

The circumstances surrounding the incidents  that lead to the escape are under investigation.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has appointed a team of senior detectives to trace the suspect and investigate the circumstances surrounding the escape.

Police are appealing to anyone who might have information about the whereabouts of this dangerous suspect or information that can help in the investigation to please call the crime stop at 08600 10111, the nearest police station, or share information on MySAPSApp.

Members of the community are urged not to attempt to apprehend the suspect, as he is deemed dangerous.

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