Eleven prisoners awaiting trial for violent crimes including murder and rape overpowered two wardens and escaped from a jail in the east of South Africa on Monday, police said.
Two policemen were overpowered in the morning when investigating a noise coming from the cells in a prison in the Mpumalanga province next to the Kruger National Park, said police spokesman Leonard Hlathi in Johannesburg. “They were accosted, assaulted and robbed of a firearm by the suspects.
“Ten of the awaiting trial prisoners escaped through the door and one through the roof of the exercise cell,” he added. The men were aged between 22 and 38 years and were detained pending trial on serious charges including murder, rape, armed robbery, and car-jacking.
South Africa is battling one of the world’s highest violent crime rates, making it one of the most dangerous nations outside conflict zones with almost 16,000 murders a year.