Pollsmoor has 9 000 prisoners too many - dept

2015-08-18 19:01
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - There are almost 9 000 additional prisoners at the overcrowded Pollsmoor Prison, the provincial department of correctional services said.

This was revealed during a visit by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha on Tuesday, who met with the regional executive management team to discuss overcrowding and other issues facing the facility.

Regional commissioner Delekile Klaas said the bed space at the Tokai prison was 19 949.

“Right now we have 28 789 people here,” he said. This means there are 8 840 additional prisoners."

The department’s area commissioner, Ntobeko Mketshane, said the prison’s remand facility alone was housing more than double its capacity.

“It is extremely overcrowded,” he confirmed. “This area should hold 1 619 people, but it is currently on 4 300.”

Mketshane also pointed out the warden-to-prisoner ratio was under pressure.

“It should be 1:30, but we are standing on 1:50+,” he said.

Masutha said suspects remanded in custody were causing bottlenecks in the system.

This, he said, could be remedied should court proceedings be swifter, with fewer postponements.

“There is more or less adequate capacity for sentenced prisoners here. Remand is clearly the greatest [contributing] factor [to the overcrowding].

“If we can find ways to reduce the time it takes to finalise [court] matters, it will lead to a reduction in the number of remand prisoners and to some extent reduce the overcrowding.”

Two prisons in Vanrhynsdorp and Ceres, which are nearing completion, would also go a long way to reduce the overcrowding, he said.

The department was considering alternatives such as admission of guilt fines instead of prison time for minor offenses.

Read more on:    michael masutha  |  cape town  |  prisons

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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 24.com 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.