Annanias Mathe, from Mozambique, was arrested in November 2006 and charged with 51 counts of crimes which included murder, rape, hijackings and armed robbery. By that time, he had had an almost uninterrupted crime run for seven years. He had been arrested only once, in June 2003, for raping a woman.
In 2006, however, he decided he was not going to sit in prison. Held at the high-security C-Max Penitentiary in Pretoria, Mathe devised an escape plan. While the official story claims he smeared his naked body with petroleum jelly and lubricated his way to freedom, later investigations showed he had walked through the front door. Mathe’s gang bribed wardens nearly R100, 000 to let him escape.
His freedom was short lived, and he was arrested just two weeks later. His mistake was that he had carjacked a car which was fitted with a satellite tracking device. Although he was known to have been responsible for multiple deaths, Mathe was never convicted of murder, he was convicted of 64 different counts of rape and robbery with violence. He was also found guilty of killing 12 dogs by poisoning them. The judge sent him to 455 years served concurrently, bringing the sentence to 54 years in prison.
In late September 2013, Mathe tried to escape again. He dug through the wall, concealing his work with clothing and toothpaste. His plan was discovered before he could stand any chance of escaping again. He remains the only person to have successfully escaped from the C-Max Penitentiary.
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