Thursday afternoon’s traffic in the Durban CBD ground to a halt after reports of a hostage situation circulated on social media.
Police and emergency units sprang into action after a man allegedly entered a building in Anton Lembede (Smith) Street armed with a gun and explosives strapped to his body.
According to a police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, the man was a retired member of a local security company.
“He came to the offices and demanded to be paid his pension.
“He posed a threat to the pension manager,” Mbele said.
She said the man’s firearm was visible but he had not drawn it.
“Only verbal threats were made while firearm was on his body visible. The situation was diffused by Task Force and hostage negotiators,” she said.
Mbele said the man was taken into police custody where he will be interviewed.
Emer-G-Med spokesperson Kyle van Reenen commended the SAPS on their swift response to the situation.