high-profile escapes at Kgosi Mampuru

Jail escapes that shocked SA. Images from @ronaldphiri@thulidlamini@Brenton Geach

South Africa’s Prison Break: Five jail escapes that shocked SA

A look at South Africa’s jail escapes that shocked SA, from late Ananias Mathe vaseline’s escape to Thabo Bester’s alleged death.

high-profile escapes at Kgosi Mampuru

Jail escapes that shocked SA. Images from @ronaldphiri@thulidlamini@Brenton Geach

In the wake of Thabo Bester’s prison escape, Twitter users have listed some of the most shocking South African jail escapes that hogged headlines.

Let’s dive into South Africa’s famous jail escapes, from assisted to collaborated escapes. Like any other country, South Africa hasn’t been spared prison breaks.

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Ananias Mathe – Vaseline Escape

Topping the list of jail escapes that shocked SA is the late Ananias Mathe, the man behind the vaseline escape. Reports had it that he used vaseline to slide through cell bars which were 20cm x 60 cm in 2006.

jail escapes that shocked SA
Serial rapist Ananias Mathe in his cell at Ebogweni Correctional Centre. Image@ Thuli Dlamini

TimesLive reported that it was a big lie since more than six wardens were involved in his alleged escape. According to IOL, Mathe tried to escape five times but only succeeded twice.

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Thabo Bester – Prison cell fire

Whilst serving life on 3 May 2022, he was reported dead after a cell fire incident at the Mangaung Correctional Service. However, in 2023 he hogged headlines after he was spotted shopping in Sandton, Johannesburg, with Dr Nandipha.

Since then, the police have launched a search on the two, who have since gone into hiding after their viral pictures made rounds on social media.

ALSO READ: Facebook rapist escaped from prison, aided by personnel


Mpumalanga toilet escape

In 2013 eNCA reported that while awaiting trial, six prisoners managed to dig a hole with a steel pipe around the toilet system and used it as their way out.

jail escapes that shocked SA
Prison cells. Image from Twitter@ronsldphiri

Empangeni Medium Correctional Centre Escape

According to IOL, in 2017, five prisoners made it to the streets after jumping over a six-metre-tall barbed wire after jumping off from a communal window.

ALSO READ: Weird News: Two prisoners escape jail using toothbrush [VIDEO]

Phumzile Langeni – Tag Swap

Langeni escaped the St Albans prison in broad daylight after reportedly switching tags with another inmate.

The new tag gave him access to areas he was once restricted. According to Huffington Post, he left prison free after his new tag.