Five employees have been rescued after being held hostage for an hour at Twin City Mall in Bloemfontein on Monday.
Though police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele only identified the exact location of the incident as an “insurance company”, social media users claim it occurred at Old Mutual.
The insurance company is yet to comment on the incident.
According to Makhele, the Heidedal police received a distress call from the mall just before 4pm, about an unknown man who had locked the manager and his staff in their office demanding his pension payout immediately.
The employees were held hostage for about an hour before being freed by the police.
“A SAPS hostage negotiator, K9 and Public Order Policing Unit members were called to the scene as well as emergency medical services. The hostage negotiator attempted to defuse the situation but with no success, until the Tactical Response Team was summoned to safely ensure the safety of the victims,” said Makhele.
“At about 17:20, the team arrived and managed to take control of the situation by safely securing the suspect’s 4-year-old son and the five employees of the insurance company free of any injuries.”
The suspect was arrested and charged with kidnapping and will appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court soon.