By Mutsa Makuvaza
A ZIMBABWEAN criminal serving 20 years at a maximum security prison in Pretoria has escaped together with a Mozambican convict serving 21 years, leading to an uproar among South Africans who believe the jailbirds were assisted as the prison is known to be one of the most secure in the country.
The SA Department of Correctional Services says it has since launched a manhunt for the two prisoners who escaped from the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre in Tshwane on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo says one of the escapees was serving a life sentence.
“The escapees are Thabo Zacharia Muyambo from Mozambique is serving a life sentence for 21 counts of various crimes including rape, robbery and kidnapping. Johannes Chauke from Zimbabwe is serving 20 years for housebreaking offences.”
He says officials are working with the police to re-arrest the two suspects.
“The two are still at large and members of the Emergency Support Team from Correctional Services, working closely with the SA Police Service are hot on their heels,” the department of correctional services said on Wednesday.
The department has also launched an internal investigation to determine how the two managed to escape, as South Africans took to social media to demand answers as to how the escape was even possible.
“The public is urged to contact the nearest police station should they come into contact with the men,” Nxumalo said.
Pretoria Central Prison, renamed Kgosi Mampuru II Management Area by former President Jacob Zuma in 2013 and sometimes referred to as Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Services is a large prison in central Pretoria, within the City of Tshwane in South Africa.
It is operated by the South African Department of Correctional Services
Meanwhile, on social media, South Africans demand answers. When prominent lawyer Yusuf Abramjee tweeted about the escape, South Africans expressed their anger.
Here are some responses:
Some South Africans believe the escapees got help from law enforcement agents or some senior Government officials.
Others have gone after their Minister responsible for prisons and Correctional facilities, saying he should do th honourable thing and resign.