The harrowing ordeal which saw a woman hold three managers hostage, unfolded at McDonald’s busy Berea outlet.

KwaZulu-Natal police have arrested a McDonald’s employee who held three managers hostage at knifepoint the Durban fast food restaurant’s popular Berea outlet on Tuesday, 5 March.

The volatile situation was defused when police used a stun grenade to rescue the three women from the top floor of the outlet’s two-storey building where the hostage taker barricaded herself and the hostages.

The three-hour ordeal began on Tuesday afternoon when the woman, reportedly an assistant manager at another branch, arrived at the McDonald’s in Berea where she was due to attend a disciplinary hearing.

McDonald’s hostage drama: Woman under police guard in hospital

“It is alleged that an employee arrived at the restaurant situated on King Dinuzulu Road [formerly Berea Road] in Berea and held the managers hostage at knifepoint,” KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said.

All role players were summoned to the scene. Police had to use a stun grenade to rescue the victims.

According to him, the woman was arrested and taken to hospital for medical observation. She is currently under police guard.

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Hostage sends husband video clip

One of the traumatised managers called her husband to alert him to the unfolding hostage situation.

“I tried calling 10111, but to no avail,” Sthembiso Khumalo told TimesLIVE.

He said that, in the end, he managed to get a security company to contact a station commander at a nearby police station to attend to the scene.

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His wife also sent him a video clip which she was able to record of the employee. 

In the clip the emotional hostage taker demands to speak to McDonald’s CEO Greg Solomon

“I have nothing more to lose. I have lost it all, so do not tell me what to do. Tell them to come here. Get uGreg [Solomon – McDonald’s CEO] on the line. Get him and his team here. Get him,” she was quoted as saying by the publication.

Minor injuries

She later took the three women onto a balcony where police, security and paramedics were on standby. 

Garrith Jamieson of ALS Paramedics confirmed police gained entry to the building with the use of a stun grenade and brought the situation under control at about 4.30pm.

“Paramedics assessed the hostages and found they sustained minor injuries and more of emotional injuries. The hostage taker sustained moderate injuries,” he said.

The victims were taken to hospital for further care.

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