Durban Hostage latest: Suspect ARRESTED after tense situation ‘resolved’

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The developing hostage situation in the Durban CBD continues, with a suspect understood to have walked into a Government Employees Pensions Fund (GEPF) office on Anton Lembede Street now in police custody. The suspect is believed to be a disgruntled former government employee who went into the offices armed with a gun and possibly explosives, demanding money from the staff inside and taking several people hostage.

Police are understood to have left the scene with the man in custody.

South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Colonel Thembeka Mbele, said that details are scarce at the moment, but that the situation has been “resolved”

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“Very slim information. It has been resolved but he is still dealt with. Interviewed,” she said briefly over WhatsApp.

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Durban hostage situation ‘resolved’

Kyle van Reenen, spokesperson for Emer-G-Med said shortly before the arrest was that the man is approximately 40-years-old, and said that there were several people being held hostage prior to police intervention that is understood to have defused the tense situation just under two-hours since the incident was reported.

“At this stage we can confirm that the South African Police Service (SAPS) explosive unit, as well as the special task forces, are in attendance of a hostage situation on Anton Lembede street in the Durban CBD. Reports on the scene indicate that a male, approximately 40-years of age, is armed with a firearm as well as an explosives device,” he said.

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“Reports suggest that there are as many as three hostages in the building. The South African Police Service are in attendance with hostage negotiators, and they are in control of the situation.”

No injuries reported

Shops were shut down along with the whole of Anton Lembede drive as the hostage situation unfolded on Thursday afternoon, with the public urgently told to steer clear of the scene. Sources on the ground suggested that the suspect was a former government employee who was aggrieved over unpaid pension funds, although these details are yet to be verified.

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It was reported that members of the Durban K9 unit have entered the building where the man is believed to have strapped explosives to himself.

The South African is in contact with SAPS spokesperson Mbele and will provide an update as soon as more information is forthcoming.

this is a developing story.

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