Free State prison hostage drama ends

Bloemfontein - A Free State prison official was rescued after security services intervened in a hostage situation at the Mangaung Correctional Centre, officials said on Thursday.

The woman was unharmed and the department of correctional services’ Joe Maake confirmed that no one else was injured.

"We can confirm that the hostage [situation] at Mangaung Correctional Centre has been concluded," security services company G4S Africa head Andy Baker said.

Tactical response team

"Predetermined plans, which are in place for hostage situations, were activated at 21:10 by the SAPS tactical response team, resulting in the safe release of the employee at 22:15."

Asked if anyone else was injured during the operation, or what the operation entailed, G4S spokesperson Kirsten van der Nest said no further details would be released.

Baker said: "We are extremely pleased to report that our employee was not physically harmed during the hostage and is receiving care and counselling support."

The woman, who works for the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein in the Free State, was taken hostage by four inmates on Wednesday morning.

G4S Africa manages the prison under contract for the correctional services department.

The company said all other prison operations were stable.

Recently, more than 300 members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union were dismissed at the prison for taking part in an illegal strike.

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