Pretoria: The Department Correctional Services, together with the South African Police Service (SAPS), are investigating the circumstances which led to the death of three prisoners while they were being transported to the Johannesburg Central Prison on Monday.
Fourteen other prisoners sustained injuries when there was an explosion at the back of the prison truck that was transporting them. Four of the prisoners injured are in a critical condition in hospital.
At the time of the incident, the truck was transporting 36 awaiting trial prisoners from the Randburg Magistrate’s Court to Johannesburg Central Prison.
Police say preliminary investigations indicate the blast was part of an escape plot and two prisoners who tried to escape were recaptured.
Correctional Services Commissioner Tom Moyane said the incident was being investigated by the police.
He said once the police had conducted their investigations, they would be in a position to elaborate on the incident and what kind of explosive was used.
“Whether it’s a bomb, whether it’s a grenade, we don’t know. We have provided our colleagues from the South African Police Services with unlimited entry to our facility to do their forensics both in terms of ballistics analysis and they will be in a position to provide us with a picture as to what really happened,” he said.