'Desire for freedom' led to prisoners escaping

10 Oct 2013 14:10pm
WINDHOEK, 10 OCT (NAMPA) - An intense desire for freedom led to three sentenced prisoners staging an escape from Namibia's top maximum security prison on Sunday.
The trio - Sylvester Beukes, Steven Goagoseb and Hendrik Modise - told Windhoek Magistrate Justine Asino they had a longing to get a glimpse of the outside world when they each entered a plea of guilty to a charge of escaping from lawful police custody here on Thursday morning.
“We decided to escape from prison because we had a desire for freedom that night. We wanted to get out of the harsh environment of our prison cell at the Windhoek Central Prison for just a little bit. We just wanted to see the outside world for a day, we wanted to be free for a day,” the three prisoners indicated.
In addition, they also gave a full and detailed explanation of their escape, saying they used a saw to cut open the burglar bars of their cell’s windows.
“After cutting through the burglar bars, we kicked them open and thereafter used our blankets as ropes to climb over the prison wall. We then used pliers to cut the security fence and walked freely to the tar road which is not far from the prison facility,” the men indicated.
From the prison facility, they initially went to Katutura to look for transport money, and did not succeed.
They then decided to walk from Katutura to the Klein Windhoek residential area in hopes of getting free transport from Windhoek to Gobabis, but also did not succeed.
As the sun was about to rise, the group then decided to walk from Klein Windhoek along the main road between Windhoek and the Hosea Kutako International Airport to get to Gobabis.
They further told the court that nobody influenced or forced them to plead guilty to the charge levelled against them.
They are all set to be sentenced by Magistrate Asino on Thursday afternoon at around 14h00.
Public Prosecutor Samantha Diergaardt is representing the State in the case.
In the matter, the three sentenced prisoners escaped from the Windhoek Central Prison between 02h00 and 06h00, but their bid for freedom was short-lived as they were rearrested by members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Serious Crime Unit while allegedly walking in the bushes in the Kapps Farm area, not far from the police roadblock along the main road from Windhoek to the Hosea Kutako International Airport.
They were rearrested at around 12h45 on Sunday, which was announced by NamPol spokesperson, Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi at a media briefing here on Sunday afternoon.
Sylvester Beukes and his brother Gavin Beukes were sentenced to a combined total of 670 years in jail for their involvement in the Kareeboomvloer massacre in the Hardap Region’s Kalkrand area.
In that incident, a farming couple and six other people were shot dead on 05 March 2005.
Sylvester Beukes was sent to prison for an effective total of 105 years, while his brother Gavin received a total of 84 years.
Rehoboth resident and emerging farmer Stoney Neidel was found guilty of theft and illegal possession of firearms in the same case, and sentenced to an effective six years of imprisonment.
Goagoseb is in prison for an effective total of 27 years for murdering City Police officer Anton Matesu in his home in Windhoek's Acacia residential area on the night of 22 January 2005; while Okahandja resident Modise is serving a custodial term at the Windhoek Central Prison for having raped a mentally-ill girl on Farm Okarusepa in the Okahandja district in July 2010.