There was chaos outside the Joburg South High Court after six awaiting trial prisoners escaped. Photo: Luyolo Mketane/IOL.

Johannesburg - The South Gauteng High Court was on lockdown on Friday morning after awaiting-trial prisoners allegedly escaped.

However, they were allegedly trapped inside as they could not leave the building after their escape, plunging the precinct into security chaos. 

Those who were inside the court building were not allowed to leave while those still outside the building but in the yard could also not leave.

Those who were on their way to court could not be allowed inside.

"The court is now under lockdown. There were heavily armed different sections of police I did not even know exited with automatic rifles, private security firms as well as security guards.

"A police helicopter was also hovering above and all exit points were sealed off," said a witness.

No injuries or deaths were reported and it's not yet clear how the escapes happened or what the escapees were appearing in court for.

The Star got in touch with four police spokespersons but none of them had information on the escape yet.

The Correctional Services spokesperson did also not have information at the time of going to print.

The Star