PICS: Prisoners bust out of court cells


FILE image of prison bars

JOHANNESBURG - Seven awaiting-trial prisoners escaped from the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court after overpowering police officers at the holding cells, Gauteng police said on Tuesday.

Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the seven escaped on Monday around 4pm.

“The prisoners had already appeared in court [on Monday] for robbery with aggravating circumstances and housebreaking and theft,” he said in a statement.

Dlamini warned people not to confront the men but to contact the police immediately.

“It is alleged that the prisoners overpowered police officers working at the court cells and broke the main door to make their escape."

"They were appearing for cases committed at Lenasia, Eldorado Park and Ennerdale,” Dlamini said.

The prisoners who escaped are: Brendon Paul who was arrested for housebreaking and theft; Johnson Leroy arrested for housebreaking and theft; Romeo Beukes arrested for robbery with
aggravating circumstances; Luvesh Veerasmy arrested for housebreaking and theft; Dumisani Selepe arrested for housebreaking and theft; Thabiso Sebelwane arrested for housebreaking and theft, and Mpho Ramatsoale arrested for housebreaking and theft, Dlamini said.

“Police have deployed a team of detectives and crime intelligence officers to trace these prisoners. An internal investigation is also being conducted to establish if the escape of these prisoners was through negligence or not,” he said.

Dlamini said anyone who may have assisted the prisoners to escape will face a criminal case as well disciplinary actions that may result in being discharged from the police service.