6 escape from police cells

2011-10-11 00:00

SIX suspects escaped through the roof of the Richards Bay police holding cells early Sunday morning using a hacksaw.

It is believed that the prisoners, who were awaiting trial, received outside assistance and were handed both a firearm and a hacksaw.

The SA Police Service holding cells, which are no more than 200 metres away from the main traffic artery used to exit Richards Bay, are connected to the main police station via a 40-metre passageway. On the other side of the cells is the station’s mortuary and behind this is the police staff accommodation.

Police spokesperson Captain Debbie Ferreira said it is believed that at about 12.05 am the prisoners were handed a gun and hacksaw through a window.

The hacksaw was used to cut open the cell door. They then immediately entered into a recreation or exercise area which is open aired but enclosed by a wire mesh roof. The escapees cut open this mesh, climbed onto the landing and then scurried down a wall of about 3,5 metres before escaping out of the grounds.

“The specific cell block has been closed. Eight other inmates who shared the cell with the escapees, did not attempt to escape.

“A task team has been set up to handle the matter. Our only witnesses are those that did not escape,” said Ferreira.

She said two police officers were on duty and responsible for the holding cells on the night of the escape.

The six escapees are John Jobe, Sifiso Mfeka, Sibisiso Cele, Sibisiso Mbuyazi, Hula Zungui and Bheke Mbuyazi.

Although a complete charge sheet has not yet been released, some of them are wanted for robbery and theft.

• zulunews@feveronline.co.za

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