Convicted prisoners sent packing as Pollsmoor is converted

2017-01-30 11:01
Pollsmoor Prison (Picture: Supplied)

Pollsmoor Prison (Picture: Supplied)

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

Cape Town - Sentenced inmates at Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town will be transferred to correctional centres outside the city and province as part of a mammoth effort to reduce severe overcrowding.

They would be moved over the next two months as three Cape metro prisons were converted into remand detention facilities.

Western Cape Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Simphiwe Xako said 2 500 awaiting-trial prisoners would be moved from the Pollsmoor remand facilities to Pollsmoor Medium A, Goodwood prison, and Malmesbury Medium A.

The immediate implication of this decision was that no sentenced offenders would be accommodated in the Cape metro facilities. They would either be sent to remand facilities or facilities for sentenced offenders facing further charges, he said.

In December, the Western Cape High Court ruled that the prison population at Pollsmoor remand detention facility be reduced to 150% of its accommodation capacity within the next six months.

NGO Sonke Gender Justice brought the case to court.

Overcrowding, 'horrendous' conditions

According to the ruling, the rampant overcrowding and “horrendous” conditions at the remand centre for awaiting-trial detainees at Pollsmoor had to be rectified.

Government was given two weeks to show why it could not immediately reduce the number of detainees at the facility to not more than 120% of the approved number.

Xako said the department decided to transfer the sentenced prisoners outside the city and province to create space for remand detainees at prisons in the metropole.

A “few thousand” sentenced prisoners were being transferred to the Free State and Northern Cape.

“The department has to comply with the court order, which includes the weekly inspection of all cell accommodation in the correctional facility to ensure that every cell conforms to the minimum requirements for the incarceration of inmates,” Xako said.

The remand facility of the Tokai prison was built in 1975 to hold 1 619 prisoners.

“Over the past 42 years, the numbers of Pollsmoor remand detention facility were increasing progressively due to new courts being built,” Xako said.

These included Bellville, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Blue Downs. They referred their offenders and inmates to facilities such as Pollsmoor.

“As we speak, Pollsmoor has an official holding capacity of 3 900, but the current offender population stands around 8 000.”

Read more on:    cape town  |  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.

Inside News24

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.


Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog



Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
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.