Parly told of 'disgusting' Pollsmoor

2012-10-24 22:37

Cape Town - Inmates at Cape Town's Pollsmoor prison are eating from dirty pots, an independent prisons visitor told Parliament's correctional services portfolio committee on Wednesday.

Briefing MPs on conditions at the jail, Thamie Mlenzana said the kitchens remained filthy despite several complaints over the past two months.

The kitchen is run by the Bosasa group of companies, which had its contract to provide food and maintain kitchens at several South African prisons extended earlier this year.

"It's dirty, even the Bosasa side is also dirty, and you'll see flies inside the kitchen... that is inhumane," Mlenzana told the committee.

The Bosasa tender has been tainted by allegations of a corrupt relationship between the company and former senior officials.

Mlenzana said because she did not have any significant powers, she was compelled to complain to the head of the correctional centre and the area commissioner, both of whom had done nothing to change the situation.

Mlenzana also complained about the Medium B section being 100% overcrowded.

"The place is very old and... when it's raining the place is wet."

The other major obstacle Mlenzana found was the presence of gangsters.

"Gangsterism is... worse in Medium B, where members [warders] are attacked by gangsters and even we don't feel safe," said Mlenzana.

ANC MP Vuselo Magagula said conditions at Pollsmoor and the prevalence of gangsters, which had been shown on television screens globally, embarrassed the country.

MPs resolved to consider strengthening the hand of independent prison visitors to ensure they could compel prison managers to improve conditions.

  • heathway.master - 2012-10-24 23:03

    The only prisoners I have the deepest compassion for are those that have been jailed on trumped up Political charges, as Mugabe has been doing for the last 30 years in his magnificent fiefdom.

  • robqb - 2012-10-24 23:07

    They have it too easy. Prisoners have more rights than you and I. Once again I say, bring back the cane and the rope!!!!!! When going to prison you lose ALL rights, even the right to vote. That should get the ANC out.

      phillip.livings - 2012-10-25 07:53

      @blip - So after somebody rapes your daughter and kills your wife (god forbid that never happens) he goes to jail, you saying he still has 'rights'. He loses EVERYTHING!! The only 'rights' he will have is having the rights to a swollen ***hole

      gary.bloom.967 - 2012-10-25 13:18

      Exactly, also why don't the prisoners cook and clean? Why should they be waited on hand and foot?

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-24 23:31

    There are many human rights abuses all over the country. PollsMoor is just a microcosm. So let's see how swiftly The Alliance reacts to prison issues - for they are far easier to remedy, as is always done, by setting prisoners free. Again and again, The Alliance proves incapable of dealing with any underlying cause, always letting matters get to beyond a crisis and then only managing to address the symptoms.

  • JohnDough - 2012-10-25 00:58

    You have 5 000 idle cleaners sitting there, use them! Stupidity has no limits.

  • Mzondi Wakwa Maqina - 2012-10-25 05:13

    they are criminals they can live in those slums. Why should they live like kings at our expense? Even if they sleep on the floor or eat from the toilet bowls i don't care they broke the law.

  • ron.warwick.79 - 2012-10-25 06:15

    So fu%$&*king what! Improve conditions, what for, we don't feel sorry for you. You chose to be there, We paying for you to be there, thats how we want it to be for you.

  • godesha - 2012-10-25 06:16

    So what do you expect? A five star hotel? What's wrong with the inmates' hands? Can't they help clean up the place or would that be against their human rights?

      jackie.m.dickson - 2012-10-25 12:49

      Exactly! And since when do they have human rights? Thats BS too! They happily took away one or more peoples rights?

  • adair.cross - 2012-10-25 06:28

    Prisons should be cleaned by inmates.That is how it works in most prisons around the world where every inmate is allocated a job.It is now against our constitution to make prisoners work so they just sit around all day doing nothing.Fire the private companies which are just using up more tax payers money and get the prisoners to work,including chain gangs to fix up the roads and parks.

      mya.bee.39 - 2012-10-25 12:32

      as far as I know every prisoner at Pollsmoor has to "secure" a job within the prison system, from cleaning to cooking to gardening etc. For those jobs, they get a tiny allowance, used to be something like R40 a month, which they can then use at the prison shop to buy sugar, or ciggies etc. If these jobs are not being carried out, surely we can blame the warders who should be ensuring it? I remember visiting there are there used to be bunches of wardens sitting around blabbing in groups...

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-25 06:29

    It's a truly corrupt system as wardens steal supplies and prisoners are made to pay for everything from bedding to food by number gangs. They are NEVER REHABILITATED and are put back in society worse criminals than before, filled with hatred.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-25 06:35

    The problem can't be solved by putting prisoners to work as supervision is inadequate, prisoners were taken out of the kitchens because prisoners sell the food.

  • kvzanten - 2012-10-25 06:51

    Man up you SOB's!

      cindy.wrathex.ruthven - 2012-10-25 07:22

      Man up - good one kvzanten ! The standard has been set: I will rather eat from a dirty pot, than bother to clean it, it is too much trouble to clean that pot, and it is not my job to clean that pot, so yes I will eat from a dirty pot lol The mentality is sooooo typical. I do not feel pity for incarcerated criminals at all, they can go cry at the feet of the families who lost loved ones due to murder, and by those they raped and robbed.

  • Vince.York - 2012-10-25 06:52

    When is zuma being impeached and indicted? Things will soon be sorted out afterwards

  • phindile.ngcingolo - 2012-10-25 07:05

    The improvement in the working conditions of ICCVs will help alleviate the situation if they are permanently employed and are provided with much needed resources in the form of PCs or laptops and vehicles to travel to other state departments to follow-up on their work like Home Affairs, DOJ, Legal Aid[SA] etc. They walk even if its raining nobody cares and no reimbursemment is given to ICCVs to travel or visit these departments. You can't expect perfection when you provide mediocrity.

      adair.cross - 2012-10-25 09:02

      Exactly Phindile.And who is providing mediocrity?

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-10-25 07:19

    A prison is a place where offenders are separated from society. It is not supposed to be a cesspit though. Yes, by all means, make it difficult and take away their privileges, but provide a clean and safe place for all inmates!

  • Nigel - 2012-10-25 07:25

    The ANC government simply fails at everything.

      Steven - 2012-10-25 10:35

      I disagree, they're doing a great job of messing things up.

  • fourief - 2012-10-25 07:32

    I tend to agree they like to complain about dirty pots ext but they are sitting with a bunch of inmates that can be used to clean up the place. This is not a holiday destination put them to work.

  • Tertius Van Wyk - 2012-10-25 07:35

    haha it is a prison. most of those inmates were supposed to receive the death penalty anyway. let them eat the flies that is served.

      Sakhiwo - 2012-10-25 08:46

      Guys those people have rights like everybody.This is democratic country

      syphor.zit - 2012-10-25 22:32

      What rights Sakhiwo?

  • Donna-loo Boesmanklong Van Nell - 2012-10-25 07:46

    Clearly the inspectorate is not flagging these issues to the appropriate platforms with needed urgencied/ priorities. Surely the issue of under resource is a matter of priority but it appears that nothing are done about it. Sorry to say but much of the remarks made is waaaay off the point...

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-10-25 07:51

    If the prisoners had any pride in themselves or their surroundings, they would assist in cleaning up their own mess. Prison is not there as a holiday camp!

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-10-25 07:52

    Prison is not meant to be a 5 star hotel. They have prisoners there that they should use the clean the place up.

      joe.mangena.1 - 2012-10-25 08:57

      Bosasa must just rake the thousands

  • Andrea - 2012-10-25 07:57

    No wait, people, Mangaung is coming up shortly and the cadres are running around like the rats they are looking for some spotlight to appear to be doing their jobs, i.e. the likes of Mlenzana and others. Why else did we not hear a thing about this in 2009 when the Zoemer was put into position?

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-10-25 08:09

    Wow . There are gangsters in prison. WTF , surely Zuma should parole them that will solve the problem. As for the conditions, let them live like pigs. They deserve it. Do the crime do the time.

  • conrad.jansevanrensburg.14 - 2012-10-25 08:14

    Inhumane? Sounds perfect to me. Whats the problem? Sounds fit for criminals. Rejoice that you do get food

  • Pete7930 - 2012-10-25 08:34

    Sounds perfect, just how a prison should be!

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-10-25 10:06

    Why are these prisoners not cleaning up??? Why must it be a contract cleaners job. These prisoners should be hard at work cleaning and maintaing that place. Look at the prisons in USA how the prisoners have to clean and wash up. Here in SA our prisoners live the easy life. These prisoners have no rights, they lost it when they comitted the crime.

  • johan.steyn.127 - 2012-10-25 10:12

    There is a reason they are there shame the poor things they didn't think of it when they did what they did.

  • christopher.douglas.12914 - 2012-10-25 10:26

    i'm sure there are worst prisons in the world, that dont even have kitchen's. prisoner's are left to eat rats and cockroaches for food. but hey a prisoner is still human. murderer, rapist, corrupt official, they are still human and im sure they got rights.... so hopefully the they will get marble tiles and russel hobbs cutlery

  • bwnthako - 2012-10-25 11:04

    They must atleast be given 1 meal a day,now they live better than street kids. Ppl who rape, kill, steal, etc are not subjected to be treated with 5 start..... Let them eat frm those dirty pots, they will learn. If u go out there u hear them tell u its better to be in the inside than outside, we live with such ppl in kasi.. Mxm wish the minister one day realise its PRISON n nt vacation n be tough on this criminal nxa plus they evn get free education

  • philschalkwyk - 2012-10-25 11:18

    Whats the problem? Thats how they live when they are free. Makes them feel at home.

  • adrian.tyler - 2012-10-25 11:25

    Why can't the conditions be inhumane if they wanna act like f*cking animals?

  • jackie.m.dickson - 2012-10-25 12:46

    Sorry but I honestly dont give a damn what the conditions are?! If you choose to break the law you cannot expect 5 star treatment? I think they get away with way too much - I dont see why they should have TV's etc? 20+years ago a lot of them would have been sentenced to hard labour - that never happens?! Why not? Make the prisons self sufficient. My tax money is better spent in other places.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-10-25 14:23

    Eating from pots?. Don't they have plates?.

  • chantelle.hyman - 2012-10-25 14:34

    Its a freaking prison???!!! They arent there to get the 5 star treatment... They should all be left to die without food and living off tax payers money! Idios! Commit murder, rapes etc,,, and we must look after you! Be glad you have food to eat!!! There are people out there that will be all too greatful to have something to eat doesnt matter where it comes from!....Corruption... Gosh where isnt there corruption! What a joke!

  • Matthew - 2012-10-25 14:39

    Wow.i Cant belive this nonsense. They are in prison,let them suffer. my word! you want rapist,murders and the whole lot to be treated like kings? As for the gaurds feeling unsafe:1.there should not be female gaurds in a male prison,for reasons i should not have to explain (dont be a moron,figure it out) 2.They should implace more disciplined gaurds that know what they're doing. 3.gaurds should be allowed to kill in self defense,no questions really asked. As for the kitchens.again,who Really cares? do what the americans (USA) do,have the prisoners work the kitchens under supervision etc.make them work for their food. make them maintain the place.after all,its pretty much paid vaccation for them.all on the Tax payers account. "dont worry guys,we'll cover the tab" Too many prisoners? over vrowded? simple.bring back the death penalty. less scum that one way or the other come back to our streets.

      Matthew - 2012-10-25 14:40

      *over crowded

  • Bob - 2012-12-12 00:38

    Show me a prison that doesn't have gangsters...

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