It has emerged that seven prison inmates from the Groenpunt Maximum Security Facility in Vereeniging escaped from captivity in the early hours of Thursday morning. However, one of the prisoners was reaprehended later in the day according to an interview conducted with the acting National Correctional Services Commissioner, Zacharia Modise, who added that the other six prisoners were still at large.
In his speech to the media, Modise said that a team comprising men from his department and some from the police had gone to the prison to analyse how the escapees had managed to break out of the prison. In a much later release, the head of the Correctional services said that the men had escaped through a window that they had managed to open. However, further details of the prison break were still, either not clear or the authorities were not willing to release them to the public.
Another issue that Commissioner Modise was willing to release to the media was that the team that had to go to Vereeniging was to find out if the prisoners were armed when they escaped from the prison. However, despite this, Commissioner Modise warned the public that the prisoners were dangerous and members of the public should be wary and careful when approaching them. He warned, “They would not hesitate to cause any harm or injury to any person. So, what I would like to request from communities is that if one sees one of the offenders, please sound an alarm.” He added that most of the prisoners that were still at large were men who had originally been arrested for crimes like robbery, rape and attempted murder and was therefore warning members of the public to avoid contact with them as much as possible.