Pretoria - A firearm and a toy gun were confiscated at a correction centre today, the Department of Correctional Services said on Wednesday.
The department's Emergency Support Team launched a search of the awaiting trial section of the Odendaalsrus Correctional Centre in the Free State where both guns were confiscated.
The search operation was launched after receiving a tip off about a firearm that was apparently smuggled into the centre on Monday. Awaiting trial detainees were planning to it use to escape from the centre.
"During the search operation an inmate drew a firearm and attempted to take one of the officers hostage. The detainee fired a shot before being overpowered," the department's spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said, adding that no-one was hurt.
The Hawks and the South African Police Crime Intelligence unit are conducting an investigation.
The inmate who was caught with the gun will be charged with the possession of a firearm and attempted murder.