Sipho Mabena

By Sipho Mabena

Premium Journalist

Shots fired in Verulam hostage drama

Police say three hostages were held in a house, but it is not clear if anyone have been shot.

Police in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) are at a scene of a hostage drama in a house in Verulam where a man has taken three hostages with a firearm.

According to provincial police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda, details are still sketchy at this stage, but he confirmed that shots have been fired.

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He said though police were at the scene, he could not confirm reports that one hostage has been shot and released at this stage.

“What we know at this stage is that three people have been held hostage but we are still trying to establish who has taken them hostage and why. We cannot say at this stage if anyone has been shot but shots have been fired in the house,” Netshiunda said.

He said police will be able to provide further details once all the facts had been established.

“I would not want to speculate at this stage as we are not aware of a person that has been shot” Netshiunda said.

He said they were also trying to find out the motive for the hostage and whether the hostage taker is related to his captives.

According to eNCA, the suspect has refused to surrender and a special task force, the elite tactical unit of the South African Police Service (Saps), is on standby.

The Special Task Force handles high risk operations that require specialised skills beyond the scope of ordinary police.

READ MORE: Five foreign nationals nabbed for kidnapping

Verulam, a predominantly Indian town, is about 24 kilometres north of Durban and part of the eThekwini Metropolitan area.

In June a suspect was arrested and a search for a kidnapped child launched in the Verulam CBD – KZN.

The incident unfolded after a male entered Capitec Bank on Wick Street and informed bank employees that he and his child had been kidnapped and held hostage.

They were allegedly driven to the bank in a silver Ford Ranger with an NPS registration when the man was asked to withdraw a specific amount of cash in an exchange for their freedom.

This is a developing story

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Crime hostage KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Verulam