Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
Police involved in recent shootouts with robbers were combating crime.
This is the view of Captain Neville Eva of the Durban Organised Crime Unit in response to criticism after police shot dead eight suspects following a robbery on Friday.
Two bystanders were shot and wounded when robbers fired randomly during a high-speed chase.
The suspects entered Chicago Meats on Queen Street in Durban and stole cash. The description of their getaway car was relayed to police.
Officers who chased the Opel Corsa bakkie in Cato Manor came under attack when the robbers lost control of the vehicle near Maydon Wharf.
Eva said police don't just "shoot to kill".
"It is important for the public to understand that we have to work within the law. We will only fire if we are under attack. When we go to court we have to show our actions were legal."
This was the third recent similar incident. Two suspected taxi hijackers were shot dead on Saturday and two weeks ago police shot dead six suspected robbers on the N3.
"On Friday the suspects immediately opened fire on police officers, injuring a police officer and two bystanders. Our officers fired back," Eva said. "The same happened in the N3 freeway shooting and the five suspects who surrendered were arrested and have appeared in court."
Eva said ordinary people were fed up with crime and were supporting police.
Safety and Security MEC Bheki Cele commended the police for their efforts.
"Criminals have declared war against police and police are responding accordingly by putting criminals behind bars or the nearest cemetery."