Most foreign prisoners from Zim, Moz
Cape Town - South Africa shares its land borders with six other states in the region, but by far the majority of foreign nationals serving time in its prisons come from just two of them - Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
According to a written reply by Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to a parliamentary question, tabled on Friday, more than two-thirds (67.5%) of foreign sentenced inmates come from these two countries.
The reply reveals there are 4 982 sentenced foreigners in SA prisons. Of this total, 1 913 come from Zimbabwe, and 1 449 from Mozambique.
There are a further 3 931 foreigners in prison awaiting trial, a group correctional services refers to as "remand detainees". Of this total, 1 887 are Zimbabweans, and 916 come from Mozambique.
In contrast, 605 sentenced offenders come from Lesotho, 100 from Swaziland, 11 from Namibia and 10 from Botswana.
There are also 426 Nigerians behind bars, of whom 184 are sentenced offenders and 242 in the awaiting-trial category.
According to correctional services' website, there are 159 265 prison inmates in South Africa, of whom 110 905 are sentenced offenders, and 48 360 awaiting-trial detainees.
These figures are for the end of February this year.
The website states that the total "actual accommodation capacity" in the department's prisons is for 118 154 inmates.