Hunt on for 12 prisoners who escaped from holding cells in kwaBhaca

They're wanted for crimes including rape, theft and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

FILE: The jailbreak happened in the early hours of on Thursday morning. Picture: Winnie Theletsane/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - A search for 12 prisoners is under way in the Eastern Cape after they escaped from the police holding cells in kwaBhaca - formerly known as Mount Frere.

The jail break happened in the early hours of on Thursday morning.

They're wanted for crimes including rape, theft and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The police's Priscilla Naidu said: “It is alleged that at around 2 am while members were conducting their hourly cell visit, they discovered a hole in the wall of the cell and that 12 prisoners escaped through it. Upon further investigation, it was established that the perimetre fence near the cell block was also cut.”

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.