Five escaped Groenpunt inmates arrested

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A riot at the Groenpunt prison in January left 74 prisoners injured, prompting an investigation into security at prisons.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Correctional Services, in a media statement, has confirmed the capture of five of the seven inmates who escaped from the Groenpunt Correctional Centre in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The department said that round-the-clock work had resulted in the arrest of Majafe Celso Romao on Wednesday evening on his way to Sasolburg. 

Zandile Elvis Nkhabu, Teko Mphuthi, Kwazi Nkosi Ndlovu and Tfhediso Benjamin Mokoena were arrested on Thursday morning in Deneysville, Free State.

The department said two offenders, Phillip Tivane and Petros Kgatliso Mabela, are still at large.

Zachariya Modise, acting National Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services, praised law enforcement officials for the speedy arrests.

He said, “On behalf of DCS, we want to praise these officials, from DCS, the South African Police Service and all other enforcement agencies, who went beyond the call of duty to ensure the speedy arrest of these five inmates.

"With this kind of dedication and commitment, we are confident that the remaining two inmates will also be arrested shortly.

"DCS will continue to ensure that our high standard of safe, and secure, custody at the country’s 243 correctional centres is maintained. 

Public appeal

Modise also appealed “ to members of the public not to approach any of these inmates should they encounter any of them, but to report to the nearest police station."

He also requested members of the public with information that could assist the investigation to come forward.