According to the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Eastern Cape, the men are believed to be very dangerous and members of the public have been warned to not approach them, but instead make contact with law enforcement
The search is on for at least eight awaiting-trial prisoners who escaped from Mount Ayliff police cells in the Eastern Cape on Saturday, 22 August 2020.
According to the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province, officers only learned about the escape after they went to the police cells, where they had heard a loud knock. They say they were then told by a prisoner that other detainees had broken out of their cells.
“On investigation and inspection of the cells, the police discovered that iron bars and windows from the cell were damaged and indeed about eight (8) awaiting trial prisoners had already escaped from lawful custody”, said police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana.
Kinana added that the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation by a task team that was assembled immediately afterwards, on the instruction of provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga.
Members of the community have been warned to not approach or apprehend the suspects upon identifying them, but to alert police instead. In light of the offences they stand accused of, police have said the men could be very dangerous.
“The prisoners are believed to be very dangerous to society as they have committed serious offences, ranging from murder, rape, and robbery”, he said.
The prisoners have been identified as: Alungile Loni (21), Mfundiso Nogwanya (22), Sipho Mdutyulwa (26), John Themba Ndou (36), Nathi Mavela (21), Lizwi Dawedi (21), Sipho Ndzelu (21) and Abongile Mphandana (27).
“Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspects is requested to inform the nearest police station or call the Crime Stop number 08600 10 111. All information will be treated with strictest confidence”, Kinana concluded.
The latest incident comes just a month after 68 prisoners escaped from the Malmesbury Correctional Facility in the Western Cape, prompting law enforcement into action and on an intense search to find them.
The prisoners are believed to have overpowered officials during their exercise period and locked three of the guards in a cell before opening for others inmates and then finally escaping through the main entrance and over the roof.