Colonel Sibongile Soci said police were searching for the man to have him finally serve his jail sentence.
Beeld newspaper reported on Tuesday that Colonel Nceba Patrick Bobelo disappeared from his Nelspruit home in Mpumalanga before police could arrest him.
According to the report, indications were that Bobelo was trying to evade arrest. Soci told the newspaper Bobelo was not considered a fugitive.
Bobelo’s appeal against his prison sentence failed in 2001, but neither the army nor the justice department were able to explain why Bobelo, commander of the military’s joint tactical headquarters in Mpumalanga, had avoided jail.
In 1995, he was one of four defendants convicted of robbing the Ntabethemba police station in the Eastern Cape. Two policemen were attacked and several firearms were stolen.
The four were sentenced to 12 years in prison each, of which three years were conditionally suspended.
One of the four appealed successfully in 2001, but Bobelo and the other two were ordered to start serving their jail terms immediately.
Bobelo, however, spent the next 12 years being advanced to the rank of colonel.
Following a Beeld report two months ago on Bobelo’s involvement in the robbery, the National Prosecuting Authority in the Eastern Cape received a query from the SA National Defence Force to determine why Bobelo had not served his sentence. The warrant for his arrest was then issued.