Mangaung hostage doctor unharmed

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Bloemfontein - A Mangaung prison doctor freed by police after being held hostage at the prison was treated and discharged from hospital on Tuesday.

Spokeswoman for Bloemfontein’s Rose Park hospital, Esmarie Cronje, said the doctor went through a medical examination, and received treatment for shock. He was discharged on Tuesday morning.

Police task force members stormed two hostage-takers in the prison’s medical centre to free the doctor just after 7am on Tuesday, after the failure of nearly 24 hours of negotiations.

The doctor and a nurse were taken hostage on Monday morning by the two inmates during a routine medical inspection for prisoners. The nurse was released shortly after. She was also treated at Rose Park for bruises and shock and discharged.

Prison officials said the two men were initially armed with sharp objects, which they hid in their pants. Later they armed themselves with sharp-edged medical equipment found inside the hostage room.

Managing director for the Mangaung Correctional Centre, Johan Theron, thanked the police and the department of correctional service (DCS) for their help with the hostage drama.

He said no one was seriously injured in the operation.

The prison has launched an immediate investigation into the matter to avoid a repeat.

Free State police spokesman Brigadier Billy Jones said the two inmates would face charges of kidnapping and assault. It was not certain when they would appear in court.

The prison had laid charges of malicious damage against other prisoners who set their prison cells on fire during the hostage drama.

Jones said the investigation into the incidents at the prison would continue.

DCS national commissioner Tom Moyane was at the prison to make an assessment on Tuesday morning. - Sapa

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