Eba Kandovazu

FOUR trial awaiting inmates at Outjo Police holding cells escaped on Christmas Eve.

Police say two of the suspects are involved in a rhino poaching case together, with one of them facing another separate poaching case. Kunene Region Spokesperson, Inspector Vehangaiza Ruiter, says the four suspects Shinghole Shitoko (24), Hengua Ngange (40), Dawid Komondjila (28) and Kamunongava Katjinaumue (32) escaped by cutting the roof iron bars with unknown sharp objects and went out through the hole.

According to Ruiter, Shitoko and Ngange were initially arraigned for poaching, while Komondjila and Katjinaumue face stock theft charges separately. Ngange, according to Ruiter, was already facing a poaching charge before he was arrested alongside Shitoko. Allegations are that he poached a rhino in the area of Grootfontein and was released on N$ 30 000 bail. He would then later be involved in another poaching incident, reportedly around the Kamanjab area.

Komondjila faces three charges of stock theft, while Katjinaumue faces two charges of stock theft. “We therefore call on public members in the surrounding areas of Outjo to be vigilant and inform the police upon spotting the suspects,” Ruiter appeals.

Charges of Escaping from lawful custody and malicious damage to state property have since been opened at the Outjo police station.