Eastern Cape police are on the hunt for eight awaiting-trial prisoners who escaped from the Mount Ayliff police cells in the Alfred Nzo district on Saturday night.
According to provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, police officers heard a loud “knock” emerge from the cells and, when they responded to it, a prisoner reported that other prisoners had escaped from the cells.
“On investigation and inspection of the cells, the police discovered that iron bars and windows from the cell were damaged and eight trial-awaiting prisoners had escaped from custody,” Kinana said.
“The circumstances surrounding the incident are currently under investigation by a task team that was assembled immediately after the incident on the instruction of provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga.”
A case of escaping from lawful custody has been opened and an internal investigation will also be conducted to establish the possibility of negligence on the part of police officers who were on duty at the time of the escape.
The men who escaped are Alungile Loni, 21 (robbery), Mfundiso Nogwanya, 22 (rape), Sipho Mdutyulwa, 26 (housebreaking and theft), John Themba Ndou, 36 (rape), Nathi Mavela, 21 (assault), Lizwi Dawedi, 21 (murder), Sipho Ndzelu, 21 (robbery), and Abongile Mphandana, 27 (escaping from custody).
Kinana warned that members of the community should not to attempt to arrest the men but alert the police if they identify one of them.
By Monday morning, none of the escapees had been rearrested.
“The prisoners are believed to be very dangerous to society as they have committed serious offences, ranging from murder, rape and robbery,” Kinana said.
Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of the men is requested to inform their nearest police station or call Crime Stop on 08600 10111. All information will be treated with confidence.