The Police and Correctional Services Departments in the North West have sent out a stern warning to residents to be cautious of the 10 awaiting trial prisoners who escaped from the Mogwase Correctional Centre in the Moses Kotane Local Municipality in Rustenburg on Friday.
North West Police say the 10 awaiting trial prisoners are dangerous and were arrested for various serious crimes ranging from murder to rape.
Emmanuel Hobe, Joseph Mambo and Luckymore Mutasa were arrested for murder.
Knowledge Machesa, Loyd Mununga and Cleopus Tapiwa were arrested for robbery while Alfonso Mpofu and Chris Sithole were re-arrested for escape from prison in the past. Oscar Sibiya was arrested for theft while Mandla Mokoena was arrested for rape.
North West police spokesperson Sabata Mokgwabone says, “Following an incident in which prisoners escaped from Mogwase Correctional Centre in the early hours of Friday, we are investigating cases of escaping from lawful custody. No one has been re-arrested at this stage and investigations into the matter continue. There is no specific area where we suspect they could be but we are urging members of the community to assist us because some of those escapees are actually dangerous.”
Last year, three prisoners awaiting trial escaped from Mmabatho holding cells on Christmas Day. They made their daring escape by cutting through the roof of their cells. Now it is suspected that the 10 awaiting trial prisoners in Mogwase escaped through a bathroom window into the roof before disappearing.
Correctional services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela has advised the public to report any suspected escapee to the police.
“The department has issued a warning to all people to be on the lookout and be careful not to interfere with the escapees because some of them have committed serious offences and they may be dangerous. In due course we will be consolidating and sending their pictures so that members of the public are warned and they can be able to assist to re-arrest them. We are confident that we will bring these ones back to face the full might of the law,” says Wolela.
Wolela says security has since been re-enforced at the Mogwase Correctional Centre in the Moses Kotane Local Municipality.