Manhunt under way for escaped dangerous EC prisoners

A manhunt is under way to track down three convicted criminals who escaped from the Middeldrift Correctional Centre in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday.

The escapees were identified as Sizwe Mhlana, Andisa Vas and Aziwe Nkwalase.

Police said a blue Opel Kadett was reportedly hijacked a few kilometres away from the prison, shortly after the escape.Police are still looking into whether the escapees were involved with the hijacking.

In the meantime, provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga has established a task team to track down the men.

"This is the last thing we need during this time."Lawlessness has absolutely no room and will not be tolerated within our communities," she said.

Eastern Cape correctional services spokesperson Nobuntu Gantana said that the circumstances around the escape were unknown and an internal investigation was being conducted.

"They were noticed [missing] during lock-up [on Tuesday night]."It is not yet known how they escaped or the exact time of the escape," she said.

All three are serving between 10 and 18-year sentences for crimes ranging from robbery, breach of parole and attempted murder.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said the hijacked Opel was later recovered near where the incident took place. "It is alleged that five people, including two women, were in the hijacked car which was subsequently abandoned in the same area," he said.

Anyone who the sees the escapees should contact 10111.

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