Police shoot dead escaped prisoner

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Police have shot dead an escaped prisoner who has been on the run since August.

Xolani Ngobese was killed during a shoot-out with the police at Mchakwini reserve in Mtubatuba. He was among the 10 prisoners who escaped from Qalakabusha Prison at Empangeni in August. Seven of the prisoners were arrested within days of their escape but police continue to search for the other two still at large.

Police spokesman Jabulani Mdletshe said detectives received a tip-off that Ngobese was sleeping at his home in Mfekayi, where he had been hiding since his escape in August.

Mdletshe said members of the task team teamed up with the Hluhluwe SAPS and Empangeni correctional services officers and proceeded to Ngobese's home.

"On their arrival police announced their presence and requested the occupants of the house to come out. But no one did.

"Aware that Ngobese was armed to the teeth, police threw tear gas inside the house.

"Ngobese jumped through the window, armed with a 9mm pistol and started shooting. Police fired back but he managed to escape," said Mdletshe.

He said another occupant, a friend of Ngobese, Skhumbuzo Mncwango 20, also dashed out of the house and opened fire.

"Police retaliated and shot and injured him in the leg. Ngobese, still shooting, disappeared into the nearby gumtree plantation."

Mdletshe said police followed and searched the plantation for him. They found Ngobese about 600m away from his homestead, already dead.

"He had multiple bullet wounds on his body. A 9mm silver pistol and an army knife was found near his body," said Mdletshe.

Ngobese escaped from Qalakabusha Prison two months ago in what authorities believe was a well-planned escape.