Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Six alleged robbers and rapists escaped from prison yesterday morning after cutting through the roof of their cell.

Ally Marivane, Marcus Phokwane, Jabulani Maluleke, Oupa William Morodi, John Ledenya and Jeffrey Ngabaze, all in their early 20s, were awaiting trial when they broke out of Lydenburg prison in Mpumalanga.

Police said they apparently climbed on the 3m-high prison bed at about 4am and bashed their way through the cell ceiling.

"They then used an unknown instrument to cut through the roof and escape," Mpumalanga police spokesman Superintendent Abie Khoabane said yesterday.

"We regard them as very dangerous and anyone who sees them must just call the nearest police station," he said.

Investigations into how the prisoners got their hands onto the instruments that they used in the daring escape are under way.