A gang of armed men chose the Pat Mbatha Road near Booysens to carry out a brazen operation to bust awaiting-trial prisoners out of a police truck.

The reason they chose that road is the most interesting part of the development.

According to Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini‚ the road is not open to the public and is meant for government officials and Rea Vaya buses only.

“It is not open to the public but I can say that state vehicles use that road. They are not being stopped by the Metro Police. Most of the police officers use that road to get to town‚” said Dlamini.

The road is in a quiet‚ bushy area.

Several buses and marked police vehicles used the road It is possible‚ however‚ that these were unmarked police vehicles.

On Wednesday afternoon the police truck‚ carrying around 20 prisoners from the nearby Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court‚ was blocked by a Mercedes Benz.

“The men were brandishing AK47s‚” said Dlamini.

“They held up the truck and went to the back of the truck‚ broke the lock and the suspects jumped out. They fled into different directions but two of the suspects jumped into the Mercedes Benz and they drove away.”

“At this stage we believe that the suspects who stopped the truck knew exactly where the truck was going. It must have been a planned operation‚” said Dlamini.

As the two targets of the escape plan made off in the getaway vehicle‚ the other 18 must have scrambled to get to safety.

A short distance from the scene in Booysens is a Rea Vaya bus station. Taxis also make their way past. During the day‚ the area is usually busy with recyclers towing their carts filled with scrap metal.

Meanwhile‚ police investigations continued with a task team dedicated to recapturing the escapees.

Six suspects were recaptured less than 24 hours after their escape. One of them said they got help from the police.