Stand-off at Free State prison

2013-01-07 23:02
Nontsikelelo Jolingana (Picture: OFM)

Nontsikelelo Jolingana (Picture: OFM)

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50+ injured in prison fire

2013-01-08 08:41

At least nine warders and 50 prisoners were injured when inmates torched a section of the Groenpunt prison in the Free State.WATCH

Cape Town - Inmates have barricaded themselves in cells and cut the power supply to a section of Groenpunt Prison, after earlier overpowering and attacking warders, and setting fire to part of the Deneysville facility.

The chief operating officer of the correctional services department, Nontsikelelo Jolingana, told News24 that public order policing units from Vereeniging and Welkom have been called in to assist, and are bringing mobile lighting in.

Jolingana said there have been no escapes, and the facility has been secured with the help of reinforcements.

Inmates had earlier broken a small wall, and used bricks to attack officials, before setting fire to three administrative offices.

Police also said that prisoners were torching cells.

The local fire department was called in and managed to extinguish the fires.

Jolingana said that four officials have been injured, of which three have been hospitalised.

It is unknown at this stage if any of the prisoners have been injured.

Jolinga warned of  "several wild stories" she heard over the radio, after inmates reportedly made calls to a community radio station.

"Misleading information is being conveyed in this way. It is a criminal offence to possess and use a mobile phone in a cell."

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  prisons
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