Prison riot 'shows need for more prisons'

2013-01-10 13:29
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Prison on lockdown

2013-01-08 14:25

Officials have declared a lockdown at Groenpunt prison in the Free State after prisoners burned down sections of the facility. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - A riot at Groenpunt prison this week underlined the urgent need for more prisons, the IFP said on Thursday.

Officials had failed to contain the situation because of the high number of inmates at the prison, in the Free State, said Inkatha Freedom Party correctional services spokesperson Velaphi Ndlovu.

"Overcrowding of prisons renders unmanageable incidents like this....

"The IFP therefore urges the Minister of Correctional Services [Sibusiso Ndebele] to request additional budget allocation from Treasury for the building of more prisons," he said.


Prisoners at Groenpunt started off by refusing to eat on Monday, before setting alight cells and offices, and injuring four warders. Around 50 inmates were injured when police moved in to stop the riot.

The prisoners complained about the quality of food and about some prison officials. They wanted a unit head fired.

SABC radio news reported that some prisoners' files were damaged in the blaze and that, as a result, the prisoners' release dates could be delayed.

It was also reported that some prisoners had been in possession of cellphones which they had used to phone a local radio station to share their grievances.

Ndlovu said prisoners implicated in the unrest should be brought to book.

"[We] condemn the behaviour... and trust that those responsible will be dealt with through our criminal justice system," he said.

Proper channels

He said their grievances should be addressed through the proper channels.

Ndebele said the inmates' behaviour would not be tolerated.

"Whilst the department of correctional services is fully committed to the humane treatment of every detainee, acts of riots by inmates at correctional centres are not acceptable and will be dealt with firmly," he said.

Ndebele said the rehabilitation of offenders, and secure, safe and orderly custody were two sides of the same coin.

"The balance between security, control and justice is paramount," he said.

Read more on:    correctional services  |  ifp  |  bloemfontein  |  prisons

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

When you combine environment, entrepreneurship and technology its pure genius. Meet the genius behind Eco-Fuel Africa, Sanga Moses.



China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us
Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.