First on EWN: 'Dangerous' inmates escape from Vereeniging prison

Authorities say the criminals were arrested for serious crimes & pose a threat to surrounding communities.

FILE. \Authorities say the criminals were arrested for serious crimes & pose a threat to surrounding communities. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Correctional Services Department has just confirmed seven inmates have escaped from the Groenpunt Maximum Correctional Facility in Vereeniging.

Details of the escape are not yet clear.

The Acting National Correctional Services Commissioner, Zacharia Modise, says the criminals were arrested for serious crimes and pose a threat to surrounding communities.

The department has dispatched its officials to the facility to determine how the inmates managed to escape, and if they are armed.

Modise says, "Seven offenders have escaped at the Maximum Correctional Centre at Groenpunt in the early hours of this morning. We have dispatched a team to go and establish the fact and detail."

He says, "They would not hesitate to cause any harm or injury to any person. So, what I would like to request from communities is that if one sees an offenders, please sound an alarm."