Eastern Cape police are searching for eight dangerous prisoners who escaped from Mount Ayliff police station holding cells on Saturday evening, and police have warned community members not to engage the escapes as they were too dangerous.
According to a statement released by police provincial spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana on Monday morning the prisoners were awaiting trial for serious offences including murder and rape.
He confirmed case of escaping from lawful custody has been opened against the escapees and that an internal investigation would also be conducted to establish the possibility of negligence on the part of the officers who were on duty at the time of incident.
“The police heard a big knock from the cells and as they responded to it, they found one prisoner who reported that prisoners had escaped from the other cells. On investigation and inspection of the cells, the police discovered that iron bars and windows from the cell were damaged and indeed about eight awaiting trial prisoners had already escaped from lawful custody,” said Kinana.
Kinana said circumstances surrounding the escape were being investigated by a task team that was put together by police commissioner Lt–Gen Liziwe Ntshinga after the incident.
The suspects are Alungile Loni (21) Ntabankulu Robbery (22), Mfundiso Nogwanya (22) Ntabankulu Rape (26), Sipho Mdutyulwa (26) who were arrested for house braking and theft in Ntabankulu.
John Themba Ndou (36) arrested for rape in Mount Ayliff, Nathi Mavela (21) Ntabankulu Assault (21), Lizwi Dawedi (21) arrested for murder in Ntabankulu, Sipho Ndzelu (21) arrested for robbery in Mount Ayliff, Abongile Mphandana (27) arrested for escaping in Ntabankulu.
“The members of the community are requested not to attempt to arrest the suspects but alert the police should they identify one of them. The prisoners are believed to be very dangerous to the society as they have committed serious offences ranging from murder, rape and robbery,” Kinana said.
He said anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspects should inform the nearest police station or call the Crime Stop number 08600 10 111.