Ananias Mathe, one of South Africa’s most notorious criminals, who’s escaped from prison several times, has reportedly died in a Durban hospital.
According to KwaZulu-Natal, a senior prison official, the convicted rapist, murderer, and robber had been suffering from a “digestive issue” three weeks before he died. He died between 4:30pm and 5pm on Tuesday in the King Edward VIII Hospital.
“Three weeks ago he was taken to hospital not feeling well. Twice (in that week) he was taken to a hospital in Kokstad‚ they would look at him and bring him back. Once‚ he was even taken in the middle of the night and brought back early that morning‚” the official said. According to reports, the digestive issues left him constipated and unable to urinate.
His health issues were first suspected to be a strategy of Mathe’s to get to the hospital and attempt another escape.
He had already attempted escaping twice from the highly secured C-Max prison in Kokstad and had successfully escaped from other facilities in South Africa.
However, his health continued to plummet, and was taken for further medical care at the Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, where he underwent surgery and was transported back to Kokstad. On Christmas Eve, he was readmitted in Durban.
According to prison officials: “He was there for three days‚ listed as critical. He was operated on twice for the same problem‚ to do with things not being well in his stomach. It seems like a digestive issue‚ but I wouldn’t know 100%‚ medically-speaking. We are waiting for an autopsy. At about 4.30pm to 5pm‚ he succumbed from his illness.”
“I think it was a genuine sickness. Not so long ago he was caught trying to escape‚ and when this happened we thought it was another attempt‚ especially because it is the festive season (when escapes are most common). But he has been ill‚” the official said.