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'Other elements' involved in prison van blast

Tshego Marule’s attorney says other criminal elements may have been involved in the prion van blast.

A correctional services official arrives for work at the Johannesburg Central Prison on Monday, 22 October 2012. Three prisoners were killed and 14 injured when the truck they were being transported in exploded not far from the prison situated south of the city. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The attorney representing a court orderly accused of smuggling explosives to prisoners on Tuesday told the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court that there may have been other criminal elements involved.

Three men were killed in a brazen escape attempt after explosives were smuggled onto a van transporting inmates from Randburg to the Johannesburg Central Prison.

Over the past two weeks, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has been investigating court staff and police officers, who may have helped the prisoners.

Constable Tshego Marule was arrested earlier this month and appeared for a bail application on Monday.

Marule's attorney Jacques Van Heerden told the court it was quite possible that the explosives could have been passed on to the prisoners through the court gallery or even by another orderly.

He said his client was known for never allowing prisoners to be given gifts or packages by their families, making him unpopular with inmates.

It was revealed that the state has footage of Marule working in the holding cells on the day of the incident.

The bail application was postponed for the footage to be analysed.

The case will resume on November 27.