Police in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands have launched a manhunt for eight men described as "extremely dangerous" .
They escaped from Harburg police station on Saturday night.
Inspector Joey Jeevan said that a police officer was performing routine duties when she heard unusual noises.
"She investigated and found that one of the bars from the inner grille and four of the bars from the exercise yard grille had been cut and eight of the 23 prisoners in the cells had escaped," Jeevan said.
He said the police searched the building and the vicinity without any success.
"They are very dangerous and we urge anyone who comes across them not to confront them. Instead, alert the nearest police station," Jeevan said.
They escapee are Bheki Mkhize 27, Mlondolozi Malinga, 25, Mfanifuthi Ntuli, 27, Sphamandla Nkwanyana, 27, Khambulani Goba, 35, Sizwe Mzobe, 30, Bheki Chamane, 22, and Langelihle Hlongwa, 22.
The charges against them range from murder, armed robbery, housebreaking and possession of unlicensed firearms.
Police appeal to anyone who can help them locate the escapees to contact Inspector Sipho Gcabashe at his office on 033-506-1043 or cell 082-459-9891, or their nearest police station.