Third man fled during court shooting

Johannesburg - A third man escaped from custody when two awaiting-trial prisoners opened fire in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court, Gauteng police said on Wednesday.

"Police have launched a manhunt for a third suspect who allegedly escaped at the Pretoria court yesterday [Tuesday]," police spokesperson Khensani Magoai said.

The man had appeared on an armed robbery charge and was ordered to remain in custody until his next appearance on 8 September.

"Today it was discovered that he was not on the list of the awaiting trial prisoners that were taken to the correctional services."

It was unclear how he escaped, but police were investigating.

Police were searching for him and the other two.

A court orderly was grazed on the back, and a police officer shot in the head when two awaiting-trial prisoners opened fire in court on Tuesday.

The Times named them as Constable Eddie Ngobeni and Sergeant Theopilus Mogafe, the court orderly. Ngobeni was apparently trying to save Mogafe when he was shot.

The two prisoners, Lucky Segwape, 28, and Nthabeleng Matlatfi, 26, were due to appear in court on charges of house robbery and possession of unlicensed firearms. They emerged from the holding cells and opened fire in the courtroom.

Ngobeni was due to testify in their case. It was unclear how they got the weapon.

The two fled the court and hijacked a car outside. The vehicle was abandoned in Atteridgeville, where they hijacked another car, a red VW Polo.