Four prison officials have been arrested for helping an inmate from the Boksburg Correctional Centre make a great escape‚ the department of correctional services said on Wednesday.
The man was ultimately re-arrested hours after the escape attempt.
Initial reports from the department were that one officer had been arrested and charged with aiding an escape. There were also unconfirmed reports that the prisoner claimed to have paid R4 000 to the officer to give him a gun and help him break free.
Commenting on these allegations‚ department spokesman Mocheta Monama said: “I cannot confirm nor deny the allegations at this point. Both internal and external investigations are continuing in order to undercover exactly what transpired.”
By Wednesday afternoon‚ Monama said three additional officials had since been arrested in connection to the saga.
The prisoner‚ Mxolisi Booi‚ had been serving an 18-year sentence for robbery.
Monama said he had already served half of his sentence at the time of his foiled escape. Booi had fled from the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital on Tuesday while he was there for a check-up.
He was re-arrested after a chase by SAPS‚ metro police and the correctional services support team on the N12 near Daveyton hours after his escape.
“He was found with his girlfriend‚ who was also arrested and charged with aiding an escapee‚” Monama said.
Monama said three prison escapes had been reported in Gauteng since the start of this financial year.
“This number includes the mass escape from Johannesburg Correctional Facility‚ where 18 escaped. Of the 18‚ a total of 11 inmates have been rearrested‚ two more were killed in a shootout while 5 inmates are still at large‚” said Monama.
Six officers had been arrested in connection with the escapes.