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WATCH: Prison advocacy group slams Mthatha prisoners’ assault after viral video

Published Jan 14, 2022


Durban -- THE SA Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights has slammed the behaviour of prison guards following a brawl at the Mthatha Correctional Facility earlier this week.

IOL previously reported that five offenders attacked officials and four other inmates during an exercise session around midday on Tuesday.

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Department of Correctional Services Spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said an inmate from the five attackers succumbed to his injuries and died during the fracas. One official and another inmate remain in hospital due to the seriousness of the injuries sustained.

According to Bhudu, two prisoners were informed that they were eligible candidates for the Phaahla Judgement Programme -- a form of parole.

"The files were supposed to be transferred to the minister's office for profiling and their files were nowhere to be found. Fellow prisoners saw this as a delay tactic. Five prisoners then attacked prison guards and other prisoners joined in," he said.

A video of the fight has since gone viral.

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Bhudu said the actions of the guards, seen in the video, was an unnecessary display of force and violence.

He added that the state of safety and security in prisons was questionable.

Nxumalo confirmed that there is a probe into the brawl however, there is no update on the investigations at this stage.

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Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services Spokesperson, Emerantia Cupido, said they were aware of the incident.

"We cannot comment on the actual video as we cannot confirm the authenticity of the video at this stage, so we launched an investigation into the incident to ascertain what happened. Once the investigation has been finalised, the conclusion and recommendations will be submitted to DCS and reported to the Portfolio Committee," she said.


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Crime and courts