File Picture.

MAHIKENG - South Africa's correctional services department on Wednesday said it had launched a "manhunt" following the escape of five inmates from the Rooigrond Correction Centre in the North West Province.

"One inmate has subsequently been rearrested and four escapees are still at large," the department said in a statement, adding the SA Police Service (SAPS) was assisting them trace and rearrest the criminals.

"An investigation has been launched to this effect and all the circumstances related to the escape will be released once the preliminary investigation has been concluded."

The department is set to release the names and photographs of the escapees later and has asked members of the public to provide any information that could lead to the rearrest of the inmates.

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African News Agency/ANA