An average of 48 prisoners escape from SA prisons each year.
In a written response to a question in the National Assembly, Justice and Corrections Minister Ronald Lamola said that 285 prisoners had escaped from detention in the past six fiscal years – from 2017/2018 to 2022/2023.
“At any given time during [that] period, there was an average of 151,495 inmates incarcerated. The escape rate can be estimated at an average of 48 inmates per year. This means that an average of 0.032% of inmates escape from prison each year.”
As of April 30 of this year, of 146 escaped inmates, 20 unconvicted inmates remained at large. The others were arrested again. Across the country, some 139 convicted prisoners escaped, of whom 100 were re-arrested and 39 remain at large.
Escaped / At large
- Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West 37 / 16
- Gauteng 26 / 13
- KwaZulu-Natal 16 / 5
- Free State, North Cape 20 /3
- Eastern Cape 22 / 1
- Western Cape 18/1
“Flight will be reported to the SA Police Service (SAPS) and criminal proceedings will be initiated against the perpetrators. The SAPS track and tracing unit conducts manhunt and search operations together with the DCS EST (Emergency Support Teams),” said Lamola.
“Due to the violence of most of the refugees, for all foreign nationals who are fleeing , DCS and SAPS are also working with law enforcement in the Sadc (Southern African Development Community) countries.”
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