Johannesburg - Six inmates escaped from Pollsmoor prison's Medium B section in the Western Cape on Sunday evening, the Department of Correctional Services said.
"It is believed that the six escaped after removing bars with a piece of metal obtained by breaking one of the beds," spokesperson Simphiwe Xako said in a statement on Monday.
Xako said one of the escaped inmates was serving a 12-year sentence for attempted murder. The remainder were sentenced for petty crimes.
"All six are still at large and members of the emergency support team from correctional services working closely with the SAPS are hot on their heels and will ensure that they are brought back to book."
The department said it had initiated an internal investigation into the incident.
Xako urged members of public not to engage the men but to report them to the nearest police station.
- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter