Picture: Independent Media
Johannesburg - A manhunt has been launched after five awaiting trial prisoners escaped, Gauteng police said on Monday.

The incident reportedly happened on the Golden Highway as the truck transporting the prisoners was returning from court.

Gauteng spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said that while the truck was travelling along the highway, it was ambushed by suspects driving a silver BMW.

"They shot at the truck with rifles until it lost control. Five prisoners charged with murder (two from Joburg central and three from Dobsonville) managed to escape after the suspects cut the locks on the side of the truck."

The driver of the truck was wounded during the incident and had to be transported to the nearest hospital for further treatment.

Dlamini confirmed that a manhunt had been launched for the suspects, who remain at large at the moment.

This is the second time in recent months that awaiting trial suspects managed to escape following an ambush.

Last year in August, 20 suspects, facing alleged crimes ranging from murder, culpable homicide and robbery, escaped while they were being escorted to the Johannesburg Correctional Services from the Johannesburg Magistrates' Court.

Police managed to rearrest a total of seven prisoners.