Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe calls for urgent re-arresting of remaining escaped suspects
11 Jul 2012
Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC, Vusi Shongwe has called on the police to urgently bring to custody nine suspects who are still on the loose after they have escaped from Hazyview Police Station on Monday (9 July2012) .
Eleven suspects held for various crimes ranging from murder, rape, armed robbery, business robbery, car-jacking and other serious crimes allegedly escaped from the police station after two police men heard noise coming from the cells and upon investigating they were accosted, assaulted and robbed of a firearm by the suspects.
After this incident, ten of the awaiting trial prisoners escaped through the door and one through the roof of the exercise cell.
Two of the suspects were re-arrested, one who was held for business robber on Monday (9 July 2012) and the other who was initially arrested for murder and rape, yesterday (10 July 2012).
Shongwe says given the nature of offences the suspects are linked to, police were expected to have been more vigilant when dealing with them.
“Laxity cannot be accepted when police deals with dangerous suspects as this does not only compromise the image of the police, but also affect community’s faith in the police to deal with dangerous criminals,” the MEC said.
During a Joint Management Forum meeting between management of the department and the South African Police Services held today (11 July 2012), the MEC said there was a need to involve community members to assist in finding the escapees.
He has as a result welcomed Mpumalanga South African Police Service (SAPS) General Thulani Ntobela’s indication that an investigation would be conducted to determine how the eleven escaped.
He said if any wrong doing is found on the part of SAPS members, drastic measures should be taken to ensure that such incidences are not repeated.
Shongwe said that when suspects escape from police custody, it is not only the community that is endangered but also the surviving victims’ safety becomes compromised.
In the meeting, the MEC said the Department of Justice must always ensure successful prosecution of offenders to encourage community members to have faith in the criminal justice system.
The meeting further discussed safety initiatives which included the installation of CCTV cameras, the Overall Friday Campaign of the department, tourists safety, and border management.
Through the discussions, the MEC announced that there was a plan to place traffic officers in identified hot spots for 24 hours in an aid to reduce accidents. Enquiries:
Cell: 082 678 1450
Tel: 013 766 4055
Issued by: Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison
11 Jul 2012
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