JOHANNESBURG- Two correctional services officers have been arrested for allegedly helping 16 inmates escape from Medium A Johannesburg Correctional Centre almost two weeks ago, Gauteng police said on Thursday night.
According to News24 Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini told the publication that the men would be taken to court in Johannesburg on Friday.
A statement with be released on Friday to give further details.
Spokesperson for correctional services Singabakho Nxumalo said that the inmates escaped through a pipe shaft and used an object to break the wall, before getting past the fence.
In a Hawks operation two days later, two of the men were shot dead in a Hawks operation, after a shootout ensued when officers stopped their vehicle.
The men were armed with a 9mm pistol and a toy gun were found on the men, explained KwaZulu-Natal Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo.
The News24 have reported that correctional services department recently said that escapes from South African prisons have been significantly reduced over the past two decades.
Logan Maistry spokesperson said the department had recorded 50 escapes from the country’s 243 “correctional facilities” between April 2016 and March 2017.
The official statistics from 1995, where 1 244 escapes occurred and now 243 escapees in 2017.
Maistry reiterated that most correctional services officials were hardworking and should be commended for their efforts.
He said, “We know that there is a small minority of unscrupulous officials, who themselves are criminals masquerading in DCS (Department of Correctional Services) uniforms, who will sacrifice noble goals, for a safer and secure South Africa, for a ‘quick buck’ on the altar of greed,”
He added, “We want to repeat our warnings to such officials that your days are numbered, and you will not only be investigated, disciplined and dismissed, but will be criminally prosecuted.”
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