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Prison warders suspected in Mathe's C-Max escape

By unknown | Feb 21, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

Prison warders involved in the high-profile escape of Ananias Mathe might face charges of corruption and bribery.

This is one of the major recommendations of the ministerial team set up to investigate how the Mozambican managed to escape from C-Max Prison in Pretoria on November 13.

Mathe was on the run for 16 days before being rearrested after a massive manhunt.

Already several prison officials have been suspended and will face disciplinary hearings.

Yesterday, prisons minister Ngconde Balfour and the investigating team presented their findings to the parliamentary portfolio committee for correctional services.

The team consisted of members of the National Intelligence Agency, the police and prison officials.

At the parliamentary briefing it was revealed that 29 members of a criminal syndicate to which Mathe is linked had also been arrested,

One of the leading members of the syndicate has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Balfour recommended that a team be set up to upgrade the technology at the prison.

Arnold Boonstra, the investigating officer in the Mathe case, told portfolio committee members that Mathe was an extremely strong and intelligent man.

The committee members, who visited the prison last year, were dubious about the team's finding that Mathe had escaped through a window that measured only 53cm by 19cm.

Mathe's head is 58,5cm wide and his chest 82cm. He is 1,76m tall.

The head of the team, Graham Engel, said he believed Mathe had escaped through a window and crossed over the roof of the prison before scaling a wall and a perimeter fence.

Engel said that for Mathe to have escaped through the prison would have required the involvement of many more warders in a "much bigger conspiracy".

Balfour said the National Intelligence Agency was checking the security clearances of all the warders at C-Max Prison to confirm that they had clearances that qualified them for their jobs.


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