Johannesburg - Another brazen prison escape has left the police and Department of Correctional Services red-faced.
Police have launched a manhunt for three convicted killers who made a clean getaway from the high court in Joburg.
The men - Lindelani Nyathi, Bukelani Nyathi and Qiniso Dladla - ran away on Thursday after a judge had sentenced them to four life sentences each for the murders of a family in Lawley, south of Joburg.
They had been kept at Johannesburg Prison, also known as Sun City, where 16 awaiting-trial prisoners escaped a week ago.
“A team of detectives have launched a manhunt for three sentenced prisoners who escaped at the Johannesburg High Court after they had been sentenced to four life imprisonment each.
“The prisoners had been convicted and sentenced for the murder of a family at Lawley during August 2016.
“A woman, her son, daughter and a daughter-in-law were shot and killed.
“A criminal investigation, as well as internal investigation, are being conducted to determine if there is any person or persons who may have been responsible for assisting the prisoners to escape,” Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said on Monday.
Dlamini said circumstances relating to the escape would be released once an investigation had been finalised.
“The prisoners escaped while they were being taken into the truck transporting the prisoners between the high court and Johannesburg Correctional Services.
“The SAPS provincial management is conducting a high-level investigation to make sure those who might have assisted the prisoners to escape should face the full might of the law,” Dlamini said.
Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the department would not comment on the incident that occurred in the high court.
“The prisoners were still under the protection of the police.
“They had just been sentenced and had not yet been handed over to Correctional Services personnel,” he said.
Nxumalo confirmed that two of the men who escaped on April 9 were shot and killed in a shootout with police in KwaZulu-Natal and that two others had been rearrested. Those killed were Ntobeko Hlatshawayo and Sabelo Ngubane.
Melusi Christian Zulu was re-arrested and was among the 16 escapees.
Nxumalo said Mthokozisi Dladla was not among those who broke out of prison.