“Two suspects due to appear in court came out of the holding cells into the court with firearms and started shooting,” Lt-Col Khensani Magoai said.
“A court orderly was slightly [wounded] and the police officer who came to testify was seriously [wounded].”
The two men, who were appearing on charges of house robbery and possession of unlicensed firearms, escaped.
The police statement sought to clarify initial uncertainty about what happened.
Earlier, ER24 paramedics said the police officer was shot in the head.
Police officers, court officials, and reporters milled around outside the court after the shooting.
Just before midday the court’s main entrance along Francis Baard Street was opened and people started filing back into the building.