Prison firings appalling – Cosatu

2013-10-07 13:15

It is appalling that 331 striking workers at the privately run Mangaung prison, outside Bloemfontein, have been sacked, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said.

The firing of the workers, members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), has led to a spate of stabbings at the prison since mid-September, the labour union federation said today in a statement.

“[Last] week the situation ended in a hostage drama where a senior female warden was taken hostage by four inmates,” Cosatu said.

The workers were dismissed on September 18 by G4S Africa, the company that runs the prison, after they embarked on an illegal strike on September 11.

On Wednesday, four inmates held a G4S official hostage for 13 hours at the prison. She was released when the prisoners were overpowered by a special police task force.

Cosatu was even more “astounded” that government had decided to privatise the prison.

“It ought to be a national scandal that private companies are being handed huge amounts of taxpayers’ money to profit from this rehabilitation process.”

It was even worse that companies sacked workers for raising issues regarding the conditions they worked under.

The company’s links with Israel was also questioned, with Cosatu suggesting its slogan “Securing Your World” in the Israeli context referred to “exploitation, repression, occupation and racism”.

Cosatu called on government to cut ties with the company and for the correctional services department to reinstate the dismissed workers immediately.

G4S was awarded a 25-year contract to run the Mangaung Correctional Centre on behalf of the department of correctional services in 2000.

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. 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

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.