The mysterious escape from police custody of a dangerous murder and robbery suspect in Limpopo, now accused of a rape spree, smacks of gross negligence on the part of the police.
Daniel Chucheka Mabasa escaped while two police officers were attending to a flat tyre last Thursday.
He was allegedly uncuffed so he could help them. Instead he fled.
But for police spokesman Superintendent Moatshe Ngoepe to then claim Mabasa escaped while still handcuffed is ridiculous.
Ngoepe must explain how the suspect opened the car door and bolted without the two police officers - who were obviously armed - noticing.
That Mabasa continued his reign of terror and allegedly raped six women including four young girls after the escape compounds matters. The six rape victims would not have been abused if only the two policemen had been more vigilant.
While the search for Mabasa continues, an urgent inquiry should also be held into the conduct of the two officers.
They should be held liable for the rape of the six victims and any other crimes that the suspect commits while still on the run.