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Gauteng cops launch manhunt for escaped prisoners

The suspects are wanted for crimes including rape, armed robbery and possession of unlicensed firearms.

FILE: Upon arrival at the court, police found the suspects missing from the back of the truck. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police have launched a manhunt for three dangerous suspects who escaped from custody at the Protea Magistrates Court in Soweto.

The trio were due to appear in court on Monday morning for crimes including rape, armed robbery and possession of unlicensed firearms.

But upon arrival at the court, police found the suspects missing from the back of the truck they were transported in. It's unclear how they managed to escape.

Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini says action will be taken if evidence of negligence is found.

"These three prisoners were found to be missing and we don't know exactly how they escaped from the truck. An investigation is underway, but if we find out that any of our members was negligent, we will open a criminal case as well as an investigation."