Suspect still at large after 5 awaiting trial prisoners escape from court

Five awaiting trial prisoners escaped from the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Tuesday morning, Gauteng police said.

Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the incident happened at around 11:00.

He said four of the suspects were re-arrested and one was still at large.

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Earlier on Tuesday, reports on social media said the suspects were those appearing in court for a cash-in-transit heist that took place in Dobsonville, Soweto. However, police denied this.

"They were appearing in court for (house) robberies committed in Honeydew and Dobsonville," Dlamini said.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, police said three were arrested in the vicinity of the court and the fourth was arrested in the Roodepoort City Centre. 

"The police would like to distance themselves from the trending information on social media that the awaiting trial prisoners were involved in cash-heist.

Police say a manhunt has been launched for the fifth awaiting trial prisoner, Philani Zulu, who is still at large.

"The re-arrested suspects will face a further charge of escaping from lawful custody. Philani Zulu is considered dangerous and members of the public are warned not to confront him but contact the nearest police station."

Police appealed to anyone who may know Zulu's whereabouts to contact crime stop at 08600 10111 or contact the nearest police station.