Mangaung prison hostage set free, no injuries reported

No one was injured when a Mangaung prison official was rescued from a hostage situation at the correctional centre, an official said on Thursday.

"The female hostage was freed and no one else was injured," Joe Maake, director of contact management at the national department of correctional services, said.

Maake said he could not comment on the details of the rescue operation at the Mangaung Correctional Centre on Wednesday night.

Security services company G4S Africa head Andy Baker earlier confirmed in a statement that the hostage situation at the centre had "concluded".

"Predetermined plans, which are in place for hostage situations, were activated at 9.10pm by the SAPS [South African Police Service] tactical response team, resulting in the safe release of the employee at 10.15pm," Baker said in a statement.

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.

Illegal strike
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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