6 re-arrested after prison escape

2010-06-01 12:05

Harrismith - Six of the 41 awaiting-trial detainees who escaped from a Harrismith prison in the Free State have been re-arrested, the Department of Correctional Services said on Tuesday.

Police and correctional services officials launched a manhunt on Monday evening after the prisoners escaped.

Details of the arrests were not yet available, said departmental spokesperson Manelisi Wolela.

Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Commissioner Tom Moyane were leading a delegation to visit the correctional centre on Tuesday morning, said Wolela.

"The minister will get a first-hand briefing on circumstances surrounding the escape."

Harrismith police spokesperson Captain Jeremiah Khiba said several prisoners took one of the prison wardens hostage in a cell while he was conducting a routine check at 17:00.

"[The] prison warder was held for some time in one of the cells before they took his keys and opened the cells, allowing prisoners to escape," he said.

The guard sustained minor injuries.