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WANTED! Double-murder suspect on the run

Staff Reporter

A Free State man suspected of double murder has been on the run since he escaped from police custody 15 years ago.

But the police have not given up.

Detectives in Bethlehem have launched a public appeal to help them track down the suspect, Thapelo Samuel Mokoena, who together with four accomplices allegedly killed a farmer and her employee in the eastern Free State town in 2004.

The fugitive, who sometimes uses the surname Mlangeni, is believed to be from Matsikeng in QwaQwa.

In a statement issued Tuesday, provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Sam Makhele said the suspect was wanted for a farm attack which happened on August 23, 2004 in which Johanna Cathrina Van nie Kerk, 72, and her employee Tororo Elias Tsholo, 43, were allegedly killed at Dankbaardheid Farm.

“Mokoena and his accomplices fatally shot Cathrina and Tororo and left another employee seriously wounded,” Makhele said in the statement.

“The injured employee managed to alert the police who swiftly responded and arrested Mokoena and four other suspects,” he added.

However, almost a year later, Mokoena escaped from police holding cells in Makwane a day before their sentencing.

According to the police, he is suspected to be in Caltonville in Gauteng.

Makhele said anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mokoena may contact the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Nkosana Maseko, on 073 584 6155 or 058 307 7957.

He said information received will be treated as confidential.

Makhele urged people not to approach the suspect as he is considered to be very dangerous.

Meanwhile, four police stations in the province were closed today to allow for decontamination after cases of COVID-19 were reported there.

Ficksburg, Maokeng, Bayswater and Rouxville have been temporarily closed after some officers tested positive for the disease.

The affected communities will be served at temporary service centres that have been set up.

The police also announced that Park Road and Bainsvlei police stations in Bloemfontein which had also been closed for disinfection are now fully operational.

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