Inmates start fires at controversial prison

2011-11-08 21:17

Bloemfontein - Fires started by awaiting-trial prisoners at the Grootvlei Prison outside Bloemfontein damaged a cell and a clinic during a protest on Tuesday.

Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Billy Jones said police were investigating a case of arson.

Awaiting-trial prisoners at Grootvlei refused to go to court this week as part of a protest over prison conditions. They claimed they were being subjected to overcrowding, poor treatment, and racism.

The protest begin last Friday, with sporadic flare-ups this week.

Jones said prisoners also set alight material in a cell on Monday.

Police used rubber bullets to restore calm. A search of the cells recovered items such as cellphones and drugs.

Prison officials, the departments of correctional services and justice and the police were meeting on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

Free State correctional service personal were not immediately available to comment.

Jones said police would stay on standby at the prison to assist prison officials.

  • Marius - 2011-11-08 21:39

    Protest in a jail? WTF? You do not have rights. Why were you locked away in the first place? Because you commited some kind of crime. And now we the taxpayers must look after you. I wonder if inmates are still working in the vegs gardens, growing the fresh produce like in the distant past. Or are they just sitting around watching tv?

      Yar - 2011-11-15 20:05

      @ Margie NO more hard labour. So sad. Imagine if prisoners were made to pay for their accommodation through work. Maybe this would be a step in the right direction.

  • donderwolk - 2011-11-08 21:57

    why oh why wasn't there any water disruptions in the area that day!

  • Dave - 2011-11-08 22:04

    Put them in pig pens, and hose them out twice a day.

  • Yar - 2011-11-15 19:52

    I think it is a great idea to store a 200litre drum of petrol in each cell. Oh, and a few boxes of matches.

  • marawite - 2013-01-11 12:04

    the world is faced with overwhelming challenges we need a prayer

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