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CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday said it would send a written request to Parliament's portfolio committee on justice and correctional services chairman for an urgent briefing from officials following the latest brazen escape from a South African prison.

In a statement, the DA said it would request Mathole Motshekga to summons correctional services commissioner Mandla Mkabela to a meeting with MPs to explain how 16 inmates managed to pull off a jail break at the Johannesburg Correctional Centre.

"Less than a month after six inmates broke out of Pollsmoor prison in the Western Cape, it was reported this week that 16 prisoners had escaped from Johannesburg Correctional Centre, known as ‘Sun City’ prison. These escapes are concerning and have exposed weaknesses in the country’s prison system," the statement said.

"Parliament is empowered to intervene when national departments are failing to carry out their mandated duties and there appears to be a trend of prison escapes which needs to be addressed immediately."

The opposition party said Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha should also be called to the meeting.

African News Agency/ANA