An awaiting trial prisoner held up police officers at the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court’s holding cells and shot dead a police captain before escaping, Gauteng police said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Joshua Bomba Shongwane was at the court cells when he held up three police officers and pointed them with a firearm. He took the cell keys and locked them in an office inside the court cells. He allegedly went downstairs where he shot a (police) captain and escaped. The officer was shot in the lower body and died at the scene,” said spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.
“An investigation is underway to determine how the awaiting trial prisoner got hold of a firearm whilst he was in the court cells”.
Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said he is “totally disturbed by the brazen attack and disregard of our police officers by these callous criminals” and called for the “harshest sentence” for Shongwane once he is rearrested.
Dlamini said Shongwane had escaped from custody before. He was on trial for nine vehicle hijacking cases committed in Tembisa, Rabie Ridge and Kagiso during 2012.