BY YESTERDAY afternoon, five men who had escaped from the police holding cells at Grootfontein on Thursday were still at large.
Chief Inspector Levi Richter, the police's operations chief in the Otjozondjupa Region, yesterday said the men are regarded as dangerous.
The trial-awaiting suspects face a range of charges, including robbery, he said.
Monila Sakeus is the first suspect. He also goes by the name of Nandita. He is reportedly regarded as the most dangerous of the escapees - with three cases pending against him.
The second suspect is Petrus Shikulo, alias Taliban, who also has three pending cases, while the third suspect, Pius Somseb, also faces three criminal charges.
The fourth escapee is Hausiku Simon, who is also known as Petrus Sheyavali, while the last suspect is Johannes Natangwe, known popularly as Maniki, Richter said yesterday.
According to the police officer, the men are suspected to have sawn their way through the roofs of two cells. Their escape was discovered between 22h00 and 23h00 on Thursday.
Their tracks were followed to a nearby farm, where it is suspected that the men got onto a car, Richter said.
"We regard them as dangerous. The members of the public should not try and rearrest them - rather phone the nearest police station."
He said it was not clear how the men got access to a saw. An internal police investigation will determine whether there was any negligence on the part of officers, Richter said. So far, no police officer has been suspended or arrested.