UPDATE: 65 of 69 Malmesbury Prison Escapees Rearrested

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The Department of Correctional Services’ Emergency Support Team (EST) together with local police conducted an extensive search for escaped prisoners awaiting trial and rearrested 65 of the 69 late Friday evening.

Malmesbury Correctional Services authorities say the four awaiting trial prisoners who are still at large must be considered dangerous; it is not clear what crimes the men were arrested for initially.

On Friday 69 prisoners awaiting trial escaped from the Malmesbury Remand Detention Facility, during their exercise time at around noon. A preliminary investigation report states that at the time of the incident, there were 451 offenders in the facility with 20 officials on duty.

It is understood that the 69 had overpowered officials, took their keys and locked three officials in the cell. They opened other cells before escaping through the main gate and roof. Nine officials sustained minor injures and bruises during the incident.

The Department of Correctional Sevices said in a statement, “The situation has currently been stabilized at the facility, and EST has been activated to monitor the situation. The more problematic inmates have been transferred out of the facility to maximum facilities in the region”

Correctional Services spokesperson Logan Maistry earlier advised members of the public not to try to apprehend the escapees.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is urged to phone Malmesbury police’s Lieutenant Colonel Ntsethe on 082 469 0975 or Jonathan Bredenkamp on 072 878 2685.