Security beefed up at Durban's govt pension fund building after hostage scare

An armed man allegedly stormed into the building on Anton Lembede Street on Thursday and demanded payment of his pension.

A hostage situation was reported at a building on Anton Lembede Street in the Durban CBD on 10 May 2021. Picture: Supplied.

DURBAN - Authorities increased security at the Government Employees' Pension Fund offices in central Durban after a dramatic, if short lived, hostage situation there on Thursday.

A man allegedly stormed into the building on Anton Lembede Street and demanded payment of his pension.

The police’s Thembeka Mbele said he was armed and threatened the pension funds manager.

“The police were called to the scene and the situation was defused. The hostage has been taken by the police for further interviews,” she told Eyewitness News.

Mbele says Thursday’s events were undoubtedly frightening for those involved. But police managed to resolve the situation with no shots fired and no injuries.

There were unconfirmed reports that the suspect, who was arrested, was a former member of the South African National Defence Force. He was allegedly armed with a firearm and an explosive device.

Emer-G-Med paramedic’s Kyle van Reenen said on Thursday that reports from the scene said the suspect was believed to be in his 30s and was on the 13th floor of the building.

The police’s special task force and the explosives unit were also at the scene.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.