Gauteng police rearrested three prisoners on Monday and shot one dead during an escape attempt at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. Five prisoners were appearing on different cases when they tried to escape.
“One of the suspects was fatally shot, two others seriously wounded, one is in police custody, and the fifth one is still at large. The four were apprehended before they could exit the court building,” police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said in a statement on Monday.
The circumstances surrounding the escape are still sketchy at this stage, however, the authorities are on the scene piecing together more information.
“This includes the verification and confirmation of the identities of the suspects. Details of the fifth suspect, who is at large, will be circulated pending confirmation,” Peters added.
Preliminary information, however, suggests the suspects were armed with knives as two police officers were stabbed.
One was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
This is the third incident at the high court, located in the Johannesburg CBD, since the end of last year.
In December 2018, judges were on lockdown for an hour after two awaiting-trial prisoners escaped, according to News24.
In February, two prisoners escaped through the court’s rear building. At the time, Lieutenant Kay Makhubele said the escape happened during the court’s “rush-hour period” when suspects were brought to the building from various prisons.