Cope condemns fatal St Albans prison clash

2016-12-26 18:31
Three people were killed and 26 injured in a clash between prisoners and warders at  St Albans Prison in Nelson Mandela Bay. (Sizwe Kupelo)

Three people were killed and 26 injured in a clash between prisoners and warders at St Albans Prison in Nelson Mandela Bay. (Sizwe Kupelo)

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Port Elizabeth - The Congress of the People (Cope) has condemned the stabbing and assault of prison officials at St Albans Prison in Nelson Mandela Bay.

"The reported death of three inmates at the St Albans Prison in Port Elizabeth is very serious," Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said in a statement on Monday.

"The stabbing and assault of prison officials must equally be condemned. We must never allow this thuggery to continue in our prisons. It must be immediately stopped to save lives."

Three people were killed and a further 26 injured in a clash between prisoners and wardens at the prison on Monday.

The prison has a history of inmates attacking their guards and has the reputation of being the most violent correctional facility in the Eastern Cape.

Details unclear

READ: Three killed, 26 injured in St Albans prison clash

Health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo confirmed that emergency service personnel had been dispatched to St Albans following a brawl between inmates and guards on Monday.

Kupelo confirmed that one inmate was believed to have died from his injuries at the hospital facility on site, while a further two inmates died from their injuries after being transferred to Livingstone Hospital for further treatment.

Kupelo said several wardens had been among those transported to hospitals and that a total of 26 people had been injured in the brawl, and that 10 of these were in a critical condition.

Kupelo said that circumstances surrounding the incident remained unclear.

The deputy minister of justice and correctional services, Thabang Makwetla announced that he will visit the prison on Tuesday, accompanied by the department of correctional services national commissioner, Zach Modise.

Bloem said the safety of both prison officials and inmates should be priority of the department of correctional services.

"The unacceptable incident a few days ago at the Leeuwkop Prison in Johannesburg, where officials and inmates were involved in a violent scuffle must also be investigated.”

The party called for the inspecting Judge of Prisons to investigate the deaths of the inmates and the causes of violent incidents in the prisons, and make its report public.

Read more on:    cope  |  port elizabeth  |  violence

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