20 April 2018

South Africa: Warders Accused in 'Sun City' Jailbreak Granted Bail

Two correctional officials who allegedly helped 16 inmates escape from "Sun City" were each granted R5 000 bail in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The men, who were arrested on Thursday, would appear in court again on May 3, confirmed correctional services department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.

"Three other officials have been placed on suspension pending the outcome of an internal investigation. More officials may be suspended."

On April 9, 16 awaiting-trial prisoners escaped through a pipe shaft at Medium A Johannesburg Correctional Centre and used an object to break the wall before getting past the fence.

A few days later, two of the men were shot dead in a Hawks operation after a shootout ensued when officers stopped their vehicle.

Ten escapees are still at large.

At the time of their arrest, some were facing charges of murder.

42 officials dismissed since January 2017

Gauteng correctional services commissioner Thakane Grace Molatedi, expressed disappointment at the latest developments.

She said the department would cooperate fully with the police to get to the bottom of the escape.

Since January 2017, 42 officials in Gauteng have been dismissed for various cases of misconduct.

The department said it would allow the law to take its course.

"It is our responsibility to ensure that our facilities are centres of rehabilitation and we will continue to root out all forms of unlawful activities in order to maintain a high standard of safety and security."

Anyone who is found guilty of assisting an inmate escape or attempting to escape from a correctional centre or place of custody faces a fine and/or a jail term of up to 10 years.

Source: News24

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