South Africans are shaking their heads Monday on the news that four men trying to flee from police in Cape Town drove straight onto the grounds of Pollsmoor Prison – and to no one’s surprise, never left.
The suspects were involved in a chase after the car was reported stolen from the Hout Bay community and was spotted in Tokai, a Cape Town suburb, over the weekend. The car sped away and into an adjacent neighborhood that is home to Pollsmoor, a maximum-security facility on the southwest edge of the city.
A few turns later, they pulled right into the West Lake entrance of the prison. It’s the gate used for visitors and prison employees, according to Jacaranda FM news.
Wayne Dyason, a spokesman for Cape Town Metro Police, told media outlets that the four suspects left the car and fled on foot within the prison grounds. They were arrested there.
Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison holds some of the country’s most notorious criminals and gangs, AFP reports. Former president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor in 1982 after serving 18 years at Robben Island and stayed there until 1988.
It remains at the center of South African controversy over successful escape attempts in April that contributed to renewed scrutiny from the country’s parliament. The facility also is overcrowded – it’s 200 percent over capacity for women – and often the scene of violent confrontations among inmates.