Prisoners cut through cell bars without police noticing

Masoka Dube

Masoka Dube

Six awaiting-trial murder suspects escaped from a police holding cell in Mpumalanga on Tuesday night.

Eastern Highveld police spokesman Abie Khoabane said the men, who were facing charges of murder and armed robbery, cut through the bars of their cell and made their way to an exercise room where they cut through the roof and escaped.

But the cops at the Amsterdam police station did not find out about the mass break-out until yesterday morning.

The men were arrested last year in connection with a robbery at a petrol station and the killing of a security guard in Amsterdam.

Khoabane said it was "amazing" that the prisoners had been able to escape without the night-duty police officers noticing.

He told Sowetan yesterday that an internal investigation into the escapes was under way.

If any police negligence or corruption were found, action would be taken against the officers implicated according to SAPS disciplinary regulations," said Khoabane.

Ten prisoners had been locked in the cell, but four of them chose not to attempt to escape.