Knife-wielding prisoner killed in court after jumping witness box
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Cape Town - A prisoner in the Eastern Cape was declared dead on Tuesday as he appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court.
In a statement released, provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said the 25-year-old inmate was appearing in court after he allegedly tried to escape from prison.
According to reports, Kinana said the inmate was in the witness box at the time and was being cross-examined.
During this time that he jumped out of the witness box with a knife in his hand.
Kinana said a firearm was allegedly fired during the incident.
“It is not clear how the alleged knife found its way into the court. However, the prisoner was later certified dead by the paramedics,” he said.
An inquest docket has been opened for investigation.
Kinana said the circumstances surrounding the incident will form part of the investigation.
It remains unclear whether the inmate injured anyone after he jumped from the witness box.
In a separate incident, a 44-year-old appeared in the Melmoth Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of allegedly dealing in drugs.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial police said the suspect was arrested on Monday at about 4.30am after officers attached to the Provincial Organised Crime Unit assisted by the Special Task Force executed a search warrant in the Ngcongco area in Melmoth.
After identifying the homestead, officers searched it and found 678 blue and white capsules of heroin, and several packets and silver foils of heroin.
According to police the total value of the drugs found has an estimated street value of R22 600.