A manhunt is underway in Pietermaritzburg, where 31 prisoners escaped on the way to court on Wednesday morning.
The RTC South Africa Community Group shared this update earlier on Wednesday. “Police van with prisoners hijacked by five suspects with AK47 rifles. Policemen taken hostage with prisoners. Shots were fired. Scene still active. This occurred a short while ago on Devonshire Road between Pietermaritzburg Court and New Prison. KZN Prisoners were en-route to court.”
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker said five gunmen in a double-cab bakkie blocked two police officers who had been transporting the prisoners from the New Prison to the Pietermaritzburg magistrate’s court.
“This morning at 8:00, two police officers were conveying prisoners from the PMB New Prison to the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court were blocked off by a double cab bakkie – with five heavily armed gunmen.”
“The suspects pointed firearms at the police officers and forced open the rear of the truck. Thirty-one awaiting-trial prisoners escaped out of the 45 that were in the truck,” he said.
By 10.20 am, 23 prisoners were still on the run. It is believed that at least six of the escapees handed themselves over to court officials.
This is a developing story.