ICD to probe jail escapes

HEADS will roll following Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's instruction to the Independent Complaints Directorate to investigate the escape of criminals from custody.

HEADS will roll following Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's instruction to the Independent Complaints Directorate to investigate the escape of criminals from custody.

The instruction comes after a recent report revealed that 251 police officers had been charged after 1144 prisoners escaped nationally.

Mthethwa said he was concerned about both the high number of escapes and the police officers that had been charged as a result.

"We cannot allow a situation in which criminals are hunted, with police risking their lives, only to learn that the criminals have escaped," Mthethwa said.

"Whether such escapes are as a result of negligence or alleged bribery, we would not like to pre-empt the situation.

"We need to get to the bottom of this unscrupulous practice to ensure we bring it to an end," he said.

He was equally concerned about the low conviction rate of the involved officers and called on the ICD to take action. - Sibongile Mashaba

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