News24

Prisoners on hunger strike

2009-08-12 22:07

Johannesburg - Nine prisoners embarked on a hunger strike at the Mangaung Correctional Centre, near Bloemfontein, the correctional services ministry said on Wednesday.

Ministerial spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga said Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and her deputy would visit the prison on Thursday morning to try and resolve the issue.

"The fact-finding visit by the ministers is an attempt to get first-hand knowledge of what has triggered this latest action", he said, adding that it was the second hunger strike at the facility in just over two weeks.

The latest hunger strike started more than a week ago and was reported to head office when area management structures could not resolve it.

Even though the department had been told the reasons for the hunger strike, Mbananga said he would not go into detail until the ministers had spoken to the prisoners and officials.

Mbananga said the Mangaung prison was one of only two public-private partnership correctional centres in the country.

This meant that while the warders were department officials, the prison was managed by a private company.