Who took women captive?

Ntwaagae Seleka

Ntwaagae Seleka

Police were yesterday still trying to piece together evidence in a bid to identify a man who held seven women hostage in a Vanderbijlpark salon on Friday.

The man was shot dead by police sharpshooters as he emerged from the boutique in the early hours of Saturday, ending a drama that had lasted almost 11 hours.

He was apparently dressed as a woman when he entered the boutique at about 3.30pm on Friday.

An employee of the salon said the man came in sporting big sunglasses. He was also carrying a handbag.

Police said the man, aged about 22, had demanded R50000 and a getaway car. They said the man had been carrying a toy gun, but that the police were not aware of this until after he was shot dead.

Police said some of the women were employees while others were clients of Merle Hair Boutique on Attie Fourie Street. The street was barricaded by police from Friday afternoon until about 2.30am on Saturday when the man was shot.

Vanderbijlpark police called for reinforcements when the man failed to release the hostages and hand himself over.

Vaal Rand police spokesman Captain Veli Mcera said: "At first we thought the man was armed with a real gun because the hostages told us that he was armed and dangerous."

The man released six of his hostages at 1.58am and the seventh just after 2.00am. A police sniper's bullet hit the man while he was with the last hostage.

It is alleged that the man had once robbed the same salon in the past. Police could not confirm the previous incident. Mcera said the man was carrying an undisclosed amount of money when he was shot.