Call for inquiry into prison riot

2013-01-08 14:36

Johannesburg - A full and independent commission of inquiry was needed into a riot in which Groenpunt prison in the Free State was set alight, the DA said on Tuesday.

"It is important that the root causes of the outbreak of this violence be determined," said Democratic Alliance MP James Selfe.

Prisoners refused to eat, then vandalised the facility in Deneysville on Monday, setting alight cells and offices and injuring four warders.

A total of 50 inmates were injured in police attempts to stop the riot.

Prisoners had complained about the quality of food and about some prison officials. They wanted a unit head to be fired.

"There needs to be a full and independent inquiry into the matter to establish why this riot occurred, who were the instigators of the riot, and whether grievances by inmates were allegedly the precipitate cause of the riot," said Selfe

Under control

The DA would ask the correctional services department to present a report on the matter to the portfolio committee when Parliament resumed.

Earlier, Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said prison riots 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.

Correctional Services acting national commissioner Nontsikilelo Jolingana said the situation at Groenpunt was under control on Tuesday.

  • daniel.motlhatlhedi - 2013-01-08 14:45

    Prisoners complain about the quality of food in prison. They think they are at the hotel or boarding school.

      Jaap - 2013-01-08 15:12

      Another commission and more money wasted? Why are they in prison and who's fault is it that they find them self in this situation? Mines and farm havoc is apparently not enough, their must hold even more to ransom! Fantastic "New South Africa"

  • Sakhiwo - 2013-01-08 14:50

    What ever!!

  • eric.vanvuuren - 2013-01-08 14:52

    There are more laws governing the chicken and pork industries than there is to governing the people responsible for rehabilitating the wayward members of society.

      eric.vanvuuren - 2013-01-08 15:25

      This is a mute point when they think so highly of themselves that they can even ignore a court order for release like a very public debacle somewhere last year. And still there has been no arrest for whatever law was broken and rights infringed on. On the other side of toughs’ wall you are an animal and not a human. At the mercy of; complete intolerance and abuse. There is a huge problem in that sector of society as well. So please stop treating society as the problem. Step-up and be law abiding Civil Servants or move along and find employment elsewhere. There are enough unemployed people in this country to make it unnecessary to support persons who have no intent to uphold their mandate with dignity.

  • john.bainbridge2 - 2013-01-08 14:54

    Stuff them, dont fix what they broke, and let them live in it, this is prison not the country club.. dont like the jail, dont do the crime..

  • liezl.haramis.7 - 2013-01-08 15:02


  • osmaseko - 2013-01-08 15:03

    Will everything need a commission of enquiry in South Africa? All these commissions are there but they are not yielding any results.

  • likoena.makae - 2013-01-08 15:10

    Prison is not 5 star Hotel the treatment must teach you not to come back again,i know it is painfull but sometimes in jail you need to it food mixed with a source of washing powder top-up with lots of vinegar just to remid you(dont come again)

  • andronica1 - 2013-01-08 15:18


  • Sergio Rovito - 2013-01-08 15:21

    Don't give them Food

      sandra.j.rennie - 2013-01-08 15:42

      Compulsory Hunger strike !!

  • wesley.botha.547 - 2013-01-08 15:42

    Should have evacuated all gards and left it to burn. If you set fire to somthing, burn with it. And it is not a lost to SA if some of this rapists and killers burn to daeth by there own hand.

  • erich.jordaan.5 - 2013-01-08 15:46

    Really, they can be glad that the state gives them food. In other countries the prison provides no food and if the family of the prisoner does not bring them anything they starve to death.

  • - 2013-01-08 15:51

    Charge the fools with arson,damage to State property

  • nico.vandermerwe.54 - 2013-01-08 16:02

    I an NO ANC fan, but have never voted for the DA either. After the Mangaung elections, I do consider voting for the DA for the first time. I do however get the impression that the DA uses every opportunity to knock the ruling party - like in this case. Would they have done better under the circumstances? Please, DA, focus on positive policy formulations. Don't make yourselves cheap.

  • Johannes Mogashoa - 2013-01-08 16:03

    Commission of enquiry is a waste of state money,they must just add more charges for what they've done,in the meantime those prisoners who are injured as a result of fire they must just die.

  • shawnqatar - 2013-01-08 16:14

    What a joke - Screw them its prison not a hotel.

  • neil.lovegrove - 2013-01-08 16:26

    As far as I am concerned every one of these bastards, who are hellbent on destroying the very fabric of our lives, had lost the right to equality and fair treatment at the very moment they committed their respective crimes. Screw them.

  • vusumuzi.zidane - 2013-01-08 17:30

    Why this fuss about this,we are talking about murderers

  • tshepo.lekote - 2013-01-08 17:30

    These guys r in prison 4 committing criminal acts, I say let them serve their sentences in that same prison they vandalized. I mean who's going to pay the bill for repairs? The same tax payer they robbed, stole from...... Screw them

  • tshepo.lekote - 2013-01-08 17:31

    These guys r in prison 4 committing criminal acts, I say let them serve their sentences in that same prison they vandalized. I mean who's going to pay the bill for repairs? The same tax payer they robbed, stole from...... Screw them

  • ian.robertreid - 2013-01-08 18:57

    Two things ~felons >burn the prison with them inside!! petty criminals ~put them somewhere else?

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