Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
The police in Port Elizabeth say they suspect they are being targeted by gangsters after the murder of a policeman and the wounding of another last week.
Constable Nkosinathi Ndolomane, 32, died in a shootout with robbers at Zwide on Wednesday.
One of the three robbers died at Livingston Hospital.
Ndolomane was shot five times.
Captain Ernest Sigobe said another policeman, Sergeant Freddie Boudery, also 32, is fighting for his life in hospital after a shootout during an armed robbery at the weekend.
A young woman police reservist, who was with Boudery, escaped unhurt by playing dead when she was lying next to her dead colleague.
Sigobe said Boudery and six other officers had gone to Morkels furniture warehouse in Sidwell Street, Port Elizabeth, after receiving a tip-off about an armed robbery at the warehouse.
"When the police arrived at the scene three robbers, who had fled with an undisclosed amount of money, opened fire on them. Two of the robbers were armed with 9mm pistols," Sigobe said.
"Boudery was hit in the left thigh and admitted at Greenacres Hospital's intensive care unit, where he is fighting for his life."
Sigobe said the officers who survived the incident were traumatised and were receiving counselling.
"It seems criminals have declared war on us," he said.
Ronald Koll, the deputy commissioner for the Port Elizabeth policing area, said the police would not hesitate to use their firearms if their lives were in danger.
"A gun is not there just to look good in the holster," he said.