Free State correctional services tightens prison security

2015-12-10 16:11

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Bloemfontein – The Free State correctional services department has launched operation Vala to tighten up prison security during the festive season.

Correctional services deputy commissioner Grace Molatedi said prison escapes usually spiked during the December holidays.

She said on Thursday there was "a small percentage" of offenders in Free State prisons who had escaped and been rearrested this year.

“During this period we limit prisoners' movement. This year, out of 23 000 offenders, 19 have escaped – but we managed to rearrest them,” she said.

“We are determined to keep offenders locked up. We will only allow those who have agricultural activities to do their duties.”

Last week convicted murderer Theodorus Botha escaped from Goedemoed Correctional Services with fellow inmate Johannes Pheko.

Free State police said the two overpowered a warder and stole his firearm and white Opel Corsa bakkie.

Both have since been rearrested.

Botha and Pheko were reportedly serving two life sentences and would now appear in court on December 17 on charges of robbery, escape, attempted murder and theft of a motor vehicle and firearm.

Read more on:    bloemfontein

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