Fri Oct 21 11:26:00 SAST 2016

21 prisoners escape - now cops want to know how

By unknown | Jan 03, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

The North West police have shut tight the prison door - but only after their "guests" have bolted.

Twenty-one awaiting trial prisoners are reported to have overpowered a lone Zeerust prison officer and made good their escape on New Year's Eve.

Now, two days later, a "high-level" team has been assembled to investigate how the mass escape took place.

Police officials said the prisoners overpowered a prison officer while he was on a routine check of prisoners in the holding cells.

According to a Lehurutse police spokesman, the escapees were Steven Sekwa, Lucky Mogore, John Mpofu, Oupa Mosadi, Patrick Tiro, Mogomotsi Khutswane, Klass Ramadi, Isaac Ramadi, Lebogang Mmutle, Goitsione Rrathele, Mogomotsi Manyane, Bareng Pholo, Joseph Khabung, Jacob Mokonka, Thabo Moaganelwa, Thiza Modibedi, Nafthali Nthaudi, Sello Mosikwa and Lebogang Mmelesi.

Five of the 21 prisoners were arrested shortly after their prison break. They include Steven Sekwa, Lucky Mogore and John Mpofu.

Sowetan was unable to establish the names of the two other prisoners but was told that they had been transferred to the Mmabatho police station, where the investigating officer was unavailable because he was "off duty".

Superintendent Charles Mongali, of the Lehurutse police, said that an internal investigation would attempt to uncover how the prisoners escaped.

Clearly angry, the police superintendent said that a police official "was not allowed" to enter the holding cells alone.

"We are investigating the way in which the prison officer [on duty] handled himself.

"If our investigation finds that some of our members acted in a way that is not in line with policy, heads are going to roll," said Mongali.

lAccording to prison officials, some of the escapees were arrested for committing serious crimes.


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