Police have launched a manhunt in Polokwane after five awaiting trial prisoners escaped from custody on Wednesday afternoon.
Police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the prisoners were being transported from Haenertsburg police station, outside Tzaneen, to Polokwane when they allegedly jumped from the back of a moving police van on the corner of Hospital and Landros Maree streets.
"One prisoner who was initially arrested for house robbery committed in the Haenertsburg policing area was re-arrested shortly after the escape," Ngoepe said.
The remaining four escapees, who were arrested for different crimes which they allegedly committed in the Haenertsburg policing precinct, are still at large.
They include Thomas Nkuna, 34, and Jeffrey Nkuna, 27, from Rwanda village, George Nkuna, 19, from Wisani village and Abel Modiba, 31, from Motjeteng village.
A case of escaping from lawful custody has been opened.
The police are appealing to anyone with information that can lead to the re-arrest of the escapees to contact Colonel Linky Mathebula on 064 756 8218, detective Warrant Officer Andrew Ngamuni on 082 414 3031, Crime Stop on 08600 10111, Crime Line SMS 32211 or the nearest police station.
"Police investigations into the circumstances of the escape are still continuing," said Ngoepe.