Gauteng police have launched a manhunt after six inmates escaped while on the way to court at Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni.

Police spokesperson Brenda Muridili says the police truck transporting the prisoners was ambushed by three armed men driving a silver vehicle.

The incident occurred at the corner of Barry Marais and Rondebult streets.

Muridili says five of the six escapees were due at court for a Dawnpark case of business robbery, attempted murder, and possession of an unlicensed firearm while the sixth escapee was due for his first appearance on a shoplifting case.

The accused include Zimbabwean nationals, Nkululeko Nkomo, Robert Hlatshwayo, Thulani Dube, Augustine Moyo and Mbongiseni Mkandla.