Malmesbury Prison Break: All Escapees Rearrested
The Department of Justice said that all 68 Malmesbury prison escapees have been rearrested.
Three of the prisoners were still at large on Saturday after 65 of the 68 were rearrested quickly by the authorities.
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola promised punishment for all escapees.
Department of Justice spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said, “The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services confirms that all escapees in the Malmesbury correctional facility have been rearrested.”
He said Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola thanked all role players and community members “for their willingness to assist law enforcement agencies”.
A manhunt was launched after the 68 awaiting trial prisoners escaped from the prison after overpowering officials during their exercise period at around 12:15 on Friday.
It is alleged that some escapees had vehicles waiting for them outside the prison.
As of Saturday, 65 of the 68 escapees had been rearrested.
News24 had reported that Justice Minister Lamola had said officials were working around the clock to recapture the three prisoners still at large.
“Of the 68 escapees, 65 have been rearrested and I would like to congratulate prison officials, the police and the local armed response for their swift response in ensuring that the majority of the escapees were arrested,” said Lamola.
He said the department’s Emergency Support Team and the police had worked tirelessly to arrest the escapees.
Lamola said on the day of the escape, the correctional centre had 451 offenders and 20 officials on duty.
He said the escapees overpowered officials, took the keys and locked three of them in a cell. They opened other cells before escaping through the main entrance and over the roof.
During the incident, nine officials sustained minor injuries and bruises. Lamola vowed that the escapees would be punished for their actions.
He said some of the problematic inmates were transferred out of the facility to maximum facilities in the region.