Police deny hostage-taker at MSSS is prison escapee

MAUN: A gun-toting prison escapee is alleged to have sneaked into Maun Senior Secondary School (MSSS) campus last Thursday and took a schoolgirl hostage in a bid for freedom.

But the police have not accepted the version by the school head teacher, Selebatso Modisaemang that the rogue entered the school and grabbed one of the girls and kept her hostage for six hours.

Assistant Superintendent Oabile Hulela of Maun police on Monday confirmed a case of that nature was opened at the police station.

However, he was quick to clarify that they did not have information that the man is indeed one of the prison escapees.

“We cannot deny or confirm that the suspect in the Maun secondary school case is one of the escaped prisoners,” he told Mmegi.

By Monday, shock still gripped  the MSSS community with the headmistress confirming that a man claiming to have escaped from prison did hold one of her girls hostage for six hours.

The police confirmed the last week break-out saying the four men allegedly broke down the door of one of the cells before jumping the fence.

Three of the escapees were captured on Thursday but one of them is still at large,  the police said. Modisaemang suspected the one still at large is the one who took the 17-year-old student hostage while threatening to shoot her brains off.

She said the man went into the girls’ hostels unnoticed during class time. He reportedly washed his clothes and dried them on the line and even bathed.

However, the man was discovered by one of the female students who had gone back to the hostels after lunch to attend to the call of nature.

Upon leaving the toilet, the student found the man by the toilet door who reportedly told her she could not leave as she had seen him and would therefore report him to the school authorities.

All this time the man was just dressed in his underwear but later put on his wet clothes.

He reportedly took her into one of the dormitories within the hostels.

He then told the student that he was one of the prison escapees adding that if she did not obey or try to escape he would just rape or shoot her before leaving.

The man reportedly said to the student: “You see there is no security in Botswana. I just escaped from prison and came here unnoticed now nobody knows I am here with you.”

Modisaemang said the man apparently relaxed after he realised that the student understood the Ndebele language.

He had reportedly sworn in Ndebele but was surprised when the student replied him in  the same language.

He then demanded the student massage his legs saying he was tired, as he had not had a decent sleep and wanted to sleep and the student reportedly obeyed.

The man held the student for more than six hours for the whole afternoon and released her as soon as he realised that darkness was approaching and then escaped into the thickets, leaving the girl unharmed but traumatised.

Modisaemang said they took the student to the hospital and tests proved that no harm was done to her.

The police however, took the testimony with a pinch of salt saying it iwas unlikely a criminal, let alone a prison escapee, would tell the truth about himself adding.“You can never trust what a criminal tells you,” said Hulela. 

Hulela suspected the man might have known about the escaped convicts and could have given that information deliberately to mislead the police. Hulela said they would treat the incident as a common nuisance or trespassing case.

However, he confirmed the arrest of three escapees,  one in Maun, the other in Samedupi cattlepost and another at Chanoga village Thursday last week.

Hulela said one of the escapees had broken into the Tsodilo Community Junior Secondary School laboratory and stolen two laptops, which were found in his possession upon his arrest.

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