12 prisoners escaped: DA calls for more secure holding cells

By Katlego Suzan Phala (MPL), DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Safety ,Security and Liaison:

The DA is stunned that 12 awaiting trial prisoners managed to escape by smuggling in hacksaws to cut through a roof and escaped from two police station in Limpopo over the weekend.

These prisoners made their brazen escapes in Tubatse and Mecklenburg holding cells. They were arrested for a range of crimes including malicious damage to property, car theft and indecent assault.

The DA welcomes the launch of internal investigation into the incident by the Provincial Police Commissioner,  Lt.Gen. Fanie Masemola but we believe that some police officers might have aided these hooligans to escape.

Although two of them have been re-arrested and appearing in court today, we will be monitoring the situation very closely in ensuring that those still on the loose are apprehended. The DA call for steps to be taken against those who assisted these prisoners to escape.

This is not the first time prisoners escaped in the holding cells of Limpopo. In May 2014 , four prisoners managed to escape at Seshego Police station after they used a hacksaw to saw through the cells’s ceiling bars and escaped. It was alleged that the prisoners were assisted by police officers to escape.

The DA believes that aiding an escapee is tantamount to defeating the ends of justice and is a very serious matter that needs to be thoroughly investigated. Police officers are duty bound to uphold and enforce the law not to assist prisoners to escape.

The DA will be engaging with the Provincial Police Commissioner calling for the security in all the police stations to be tightened and to have safer and more secure holding cells.