Cape Town – Six prisoners escaped from Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town late on Sunday, all six of whom have already been sentenced.
According to the Western Cape Correctional Services, a total of six inmates escaped from the B5 unit of Pollsmoor’ Medium B section around 23h00 on Sunday night.
After a brief manhunt, three of the inmates had been arrested. In total, five of the six inmates who escaped from the prison were rearrested during Monday in Kalksteenfontein, Blackheath and Ocean View, while one convict is said to still be on the run. Among those who have been recaptured was an inmate currently serving a 12-year sentence for attempted murder.
It is believed that the six men escaped after removing bars with a piece of metal they obtained by breaking one of their beds. They had apparently used the piece of metal to break the frame of a window.
“We cannot disclose much about the rearrests at this point but can confirm that our team is working around the clock to capture the remaining prisoners,” said Correctional Services’ department commissioner, Delekile Klaas, who added that they had given themselves a 72-hour period in which to rearrest all of the prisoners.
Members of the public have been urged not to try to engage prisoners, but rather report any information to the nearest police station. The Department of Correctional Services also noted that it had begun an internal investigation into the incident.
Pollsmoor also made headlines earlier in the year when eight of its warders were attacked when inmates allegedly threw boiling water at them in January. The warders were said to have been searching for a cellphone when the attack happened. Three of the officials had sustained serious burn wounds and were taken to surrounding hospitals for treatment.
Pollsmoor is a Maximum-Security Prison in the Cape Town suburb of Tokai. It is famous for being the place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned at one stage. It is also home to some of South Africa’s most dangerous criminals, giving it an infamous reputation usually associated with rife violence. The current inmate population is estimated to be over 7,000.