Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said they were investigating the circumstances behind the escape but it was believed the cellmates broke free at 3am on Monday using a hacksaw to cut their way out of the police holding cell.
“The inmates in the police cells used an object to saw through the burglar proofing of the cell roof and escaped,” said Otto.
All the suspects in the cell escaped and none of had been rearrested yet. Two of the escapees, Titus Selani Chauke and Andries Chauke, are accused of being the accomplices of Tinus Groenewald, who was jailed for 80 years for stock theft last week.
It was reported the theft took place on farms bordering national roads in Limpopo and the North West. Some of Groenewald’s sentences would run concurrently. Otto said he would serve 30 years.
His two co-accused, who have denied guilt, were awaiting-trial prisoners at the time of their escape from the holding cell.
The other escapees from the same cell were wanted for crimes including house robbery, being illegal immigrants, possession of dangerous weapons and possession of drugs. Some of the suspects on the run are considered to be extremely dangerous.
Otto said once the escapees had been rearrested they would all face the additional charge of escaping from lawful custody.