More prisoners escape from holding cells in Ohangwena

09 Jan 2016 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 09 JAN (NAMPA) – Another trial-awaiting suspect who escaped from the Ohangwena police holding cells has been rearrested.
This brings the number of escapees who have been rearrested to six, while four more suspects are still at large.
Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson, Inspector Slogan Matheus informed Nampa on Friday that Sem Phillipus, 30, was arrested by the Angolan National Police at Ondjiva in Angola last week.
He said the suspect, along with two others who were arrested in Cunene, Angola are in custody at Ondjiva while arrangements are underway for them to be handed over to the Namibian Police.
The two prisoners, Martin Mwaamenange and Josua Josua Kalumbu, were arrested on Sunday afternoon at Omupanda in Cunene, Angola, which is near the Namibia-Angola border.
The suspects allegedly fled to Angola after they cut open the roof of the police cells and escaped last Friday.
Phillipus is awaiting trial on a case of robbery, while Mwaamenange was nabbed for housebreaking.
The other suspects - Fillemon Kashilula, Shafa Hamunyela and Jason Kwafenge - were apprehended last Friday in the Ohangwena Region.
The prisoners are awaiting trial for cases ranging from robberies, murder, theft and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, to housebreaking.
Meanwhile, six more trial-awaiting inmates escaped from the Oshikango Police holding cells, in the same region, between Wednesday night and the early morning hours of Thursday.
Matheus said the inmates used an unknown object to cut open the roof of the holding cell and escaped.
Five of the six suspects are awaiting trial on charges of housebreaking and theft.
They are Mutete Paulus, 24; Risto Werner Mapadi, 30; Tupandeni Immanuel Shiyabonga, 26; Jason Mitilifa Pombili, 21, and Hangula Sheehama Shidinge, 25.
The sixth suspect, 30 year-old Johannes Kondjeni Matheus, is charged with being an illegal immigrant.
So far only one escapee, Mutete Paulus, was rearrested on the same day of the escape (Thursday) at Omafo in the Ohangwena Region, while the other five suspects are still at large.
Matheus said cases of escape from lawful custody have been opened against all the escapees, while corresponding cases of aiding of prisoners' escape were opened against the officials who were on duty at the time of incidents.
“We cannot speculate now to say that there was probably aid from police officers who were on duty, or why these escapes are taking place in the region, I can only confirm the escapes. Only once the investigations are completed will we be able to say what led to the escapes from that one region,” he stated.
The police are calling on anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of the fugitives to come forward with such information.
Matheus however cautioned the public not to attempt to arrest the suspects themselves as they may be dangerous. Instead, the police should be notified.