Johannesburg - Four awaiting-trial prisoners escaped from the Pilgrim's Rest police holding cells on Sunday, Mpumalanga police said.

Colonel Leonard Hlathi said Thabo Mokwena, 36, Otto Shokane, 25, Julius Mathebula, 20 and Norman Mametsa, 25, allegedly forced open the roof of the exercise room and escaped at around 3pm.

He said Mokwena and Shokane were in custody for house-breaking and theft; Mathebula for the theft of copper; and Mametsa for a charge relating to possession of gold dust.

Hlathi requested to community members with information that could lead to their capture to contact Captain Evans Tshepo on 082 556 5311 or 013 768 1122. - Sapa