South African killer, rapist, serial escapee Ananias Mathe dies

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ananias Mathe, an infamous South African criminal, died on Tuesday in hospital. His offences included rape and murder, and he escaped custody several times.

Mathe, from Mozambique, had been suffering digestive problems for weeks according to the prison service. He died on Tuesday in the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban. He was resident in a high-security prison in Kokstad, away from Gauteng where he committed most of his crimes.

Transferred to Kokstad after several escapes between 2002 and 2006, Mathe twice tried to break out of the high-security facility. In 2013 he tried to tunnel out of his cell, and three months ago he tried to lower himself out his cell with tied bedsheets. Other crimes included robbery, housebreaking, and fatally poisoning thirteen dogs.

Erickson Zungu, the National Freedom Party's spokesperson for KwaZulu-Natal, criticised the lack of capital punishment in the country and said this should be available for offenders like Mathe. "It is the undisputed fact that government could have saved a lot of state resource and time if the government opted for the death penalty[...] taxpayers money spent daily on Mathe could been used wisely," Zungu said.

His party is seeking public consultation and government consideration of the issue.