A 25-year-old prisoner was shot dead inside the East London Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
According to police spokesperson, Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, the man was in court for a 2018 case, in which he had tried to escape from prison.
Kinana said reports indicated the man was being cross-examined when he allegedly jumped out the witness box, knife in hand, before he was killed by a gunshot.
"It is alleged that a firearm shot was heard during the incident. It is not clear how the alleged knife found its way into the court," Kinana said.
Paramedics were called to the scene and certified the man as dead.
Kinana said an inquest docket was opened and the circumstances surrounding the incident were being investigated.