Stand-off at Free State prison

2013-01-07 23:02

Cape Town - Inmates have barricaded themselves in cells and cut the power supply to a section of Groenpunt Prison, after earlier overpowering and attacking warders, and setting fire to part of the Deneysville facility.

The chief operating officer of the correctional services department, Nontsikelelo Jolingana, told News24 that public order policing units from Vereeniging and Welkom have been called in to assist, and are bringing mobile lighting in.

Jolingana said there have been no escapes, and the facility has been secured with the help of reinforcements.

Inmates had earlier broken a small wall, and used bricks to attack officials, before setting fire to three administrative offices.

Police also said that prisoners were torching cells.

The local fire department was called in and managed to extinguish the fires.

Jolingana said that four officials have been injured, of which three have been hospitalised.

It is unknown at this stage if any of the prisoners have been injured.

Jolinga warned of  "several wild stories" she heard over the radio, after inmates reportedly made calls to a community radio station.

"Misleading information is being conveyed in this way. It is a criminal offence to possess and use a mobile phone in a cell."

  • Rick.Gonzo.56 - 2013-01-07 23:08

    Specia Task Force will resolve this chop chop.

      sally.lewitt - 2013-01-07 23:13


      Mzwabantu Mgwebile - 2013-01-07 23:15

      let the bastards hang thmselves, no regard for the quality of life...give them Mangaung as well

      lownabester - 2013-01-07 23:29

      Oh no, What about their "human rights" remember they are protected. After this we will have a commision of inquery, and they will be the innocent ones. - 2013-01-08 00:55

      Ineffective Rick.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-01-08 08:57

      Or the Marikana cops. Send them in guns blazing

  • Lyndatjie - 2013-01-07 23:10

    Leave them for a week while they kill each other and destroy everything... then when there is no more food and water left... go in and make them clean EVERYTHING themselves....

      sally.lewitt - 2013-01-07 23:15

      Lyndatjie, that's NOT going to happen..

      Lyndatjie - 2013-01-07 23:24

      Damn! I can dream can't I?

      sally.lewitt - 2013-01-07 23:37

      Lol! True ne.. Unfortunately we have to wake up and smell the coffee, its burning sista..

      david.maree.92 - 2013-01-08 06:15

      Christopher, sorry to correct you but coffee can burn in more ways than one.

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2013-01-08 07:04

      They torched their cells? Take their blankets and mattresses away for 2 weeks then there is nothing left to torch! They have far too many privileges.

      emilyjane.elson - 2013-01-08 07:14

      Little harsh there Christopher..

      John - 2013-01-08 07:56

      damn, I just had a massive dump, I feel 5 kg lighter, nothing like a good crap in the morning

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-01-08 09:17

      John, you must feel a lot lighter after every comment you make...

  • sally.lewitt - 2013-01-07 23:10

    Here is lawlessness in action! Waiting in anticipation to hear the outcome of this mayhem and HOW it will be handled.. Ouch! Eina! Eish!

      Dingaan - 2013-01-08 02:12

      corruption,corruption,cry de beloved country cry.

  • aroka.murombe - 2013-01-07 23:10

    What can we say its what we voted for.....

      neilza - 2013-01-08 06:59

      It's what u voted for. Not me

  • Psy4genic.Mgcwaba - 2013-01-07 23:16

    Tell us about the misleading stories, we want to hear...

  • moses.m.masilela - 2013-01-07 23:18

    I hope they will not blame ANC gov for this. People like to exaggerate.

      reynardt - 2013-01-08 00:26

      Muppet. Yeah okey so if not ANC, let blame apartheid? Idiot. - 2013-01-08 00:51

      Right. Jongilanga is a product of anc.

      silenta.solly - 2013-01-08 09:22

      @wish idiots will be idiots please allow them to be idiots, yes they will blame the ANC.....we all know all those inmates are members of the ANC, we all know the staff at that prison are ANC members and we all know Pres Zuma went to that prison himself and asked those inmates to engage in such behavior........News24 bloggers can be really clueless idiots

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-01-08 09:33

      Think the inmates heard Zuma is taking another wife again

  • isabel.ashe.7 - 2013-01-07 23:18

    tax money will fix the Prison... Let it burn... Who NEEDS them... Not South Africa.

  • jewel.moyana - 2013-01-07 23:24

    what a bunch of fools ! They should be left there and forgotten .They are calling radio stations on cell phones they shouldn't have. Clever aint it

  • Erna - 2013-01-07 23:24

    Why does mobile lighting have to be brought in from outside? You'd think that they would be better prepared.

      sally.lewitt - 2013-01-07 23:40

      You'd think a lot of things but I don't think our over crowded prison systems are prepared for anything of this magnitude..

      neilza - 2013-01-08 07:01

      The lighting has been turned off, most probably vandalized so until calm is restored mobile is the only option

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2013-01-07 23:32

    This sounds like a movie, wanna hear the end of it.

  • rodney.subbiah - 2013-01-07 23:37

    Situation like these, we need Cyril Ramaphosa. A no nonsense businessman, who is able to make decisions and for see the results of his decisions.

      sally.lewitt - 2013-01-07 23:44

      What has a business man, any one for that matter have to offer a prison riot.. Occupational leave for repeat offenders ..?

      osmaseko - 2013-01-08 07:52

      Are you trying to fit in with News24 trolls?

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-08 13:29

      Rodney.subbiah. Where was Ramaphosa at Marikana?. Safeguarding his assets that's where he was. So wait in vain.

  • rabeka.silinda - 2013-01-07 23:43

    sounds to me like these prisoners had assistance from one of the corrupt waders..

  • prince.ramalia - 2013-01-07 23:47

    let them kill each other may be de crime wil go down

  • feroz.jeewa - 2013-01-07 23:56

    I have been to jail.short spell though only 4 days.if you want to make a call there is at least one cellphone per cell.longer serving inmates have those privileges! By thei way the warders know all about it!

  • justin.b.whittaker - 2013-01-07 23:58

    Well if they overweight like the chief operator then i can see why the warders where injured.let the inmates just kill each other then bomb the prison.prob solved

      mandie.coetzeefourie - 2013-01-08 01:00

      I just want to say that my husband works at Groenpunt at the dog unit.I took him there at round about 9 o'clock,smoke were everywhere the prisoners blocked the steel doors so the warders could'nt get in.My husband weigh 60kg and he is fit so don't judge.I left him there and came back home in Deneysville.I am waiting and praying for his save return home.

      silenta.solly - 2013-01-08 09:28

      Yes we can even hear the trolls saying Mandie's husband is the one who provided the inmates with information and is the member of the ANC, yes we know its the ANC

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-08 13:30

      Mandie, I hope for his safe return too. Stay brave.

  • - 2013-01-08 00:03

    Background check. Who's Jongilanga? Another useless gender equality beech. More of this to come.

  • - 2013-01-08 00:42

    You people don't understand. Cash is smuggled in by family/friends to buy favours from warders. Who doesn't need money.

  • Corne.Karsten - 2013-01-08 00:46

    Its easy to comment if you stand free from it all. The father of my children is a warden there. Waiting for a phone call to hear he is alright is hell. Keeping it away from the kids is difficult. Even though we are devorced, we are still family. It doesnt only affect the inmates. And not all wardens are corrupt!!!

      jacqy.marx - 2013-01-08 06:53

      I pray for all the wardens safety! But shoot the prisoners!

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-08 13:32

      Corne. Karsten. I hope the father of your children is fine. Stay brave.

  • kyle.whitetv.1 - 2013-01-08 01:34

    News 24 thank you! Cape Town is in Free State.

      neilza - 2013-01-08 07:05

      It was most probably reported from Cape Town. When somebody on the ground sends the info to Cape Town where it's reported from. After all that's where media24 is based. If u pay more attention on news24 u would notice that.

  • sally.lewitt - 2013-01-08 02:01

    Please take a moment of your time and give thought to the dedicated staff that run our over crowded prisons. Spare a thought and think of the fear in their hearts and the hearts of their family and loved ones. Some are true heroes like any other vocation. But for the grace...

      jealbertyn - 2013-01-08 07:20

      Thank you Sally. My brother and his family stays there, and I can not tell you what a nigtmare last night was for me!

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2013-01-08 05:07

    So what are they actually rioting about now and throwing there toys,,, sorry, I mean bricks. They don't have a right to demand anything, they gave up that right when they broke the law. And were sent to the chookie. I say add another 20 years to each one of them.

      nelia.cronjevanschalkwyk - 2013-01-08 08:59

      I say bring back the death penalty. Hang these bastards !!!!!!!!!!!

      jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2013-01-08 09:12

      As far as I know, no where on the planet warrents the death penalty for rioting. However if they do kill innocent people, then I agree 100% with you.

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2013-01-08 05:39

    Just set leave the damn thing to burn with those bastards inside.

  • liezl.haramis.7 - 2013-01-08 05:47

    Im also confused...Free State...huh??? News 24 should shut their doors and consider taking up writing fairytales and children's books...clowns!

      johnny.better.12 - 2013-01-08 08:50

      So what are you confused about? The fact that it was reported from Cape Town?

  • JOHNY63 - 2013-01-08 05:48

    Skiet hulle. Dit is vinniger as uithonger.

  • Papiki Hlahane - 2013-01-08 05:51

    just leave everything as it is.winter is one of the season they will need the fire they played with.

      tebalob - 2013-01-08 10:14

      Sure Papzin!

  • Thembane.wa.Mahlaza - 2013-01-08 05:54

    I smell more trouble in Paradise/Prison. mobile lighting means Petrol or Diesel powered Generators think of petrol bomb.... lol

  • Peter Zylstra - 2013-01-08 05:55

    Let these criminals burn themselves to death.....after all they started the fire!

  • Sakhiwo - 2013-01-08 05:57

    Tjo that's just a Moemish

  • gregory.jurgens - 2013-01-08 06:15

    Move the prisoners to Nkandla. It's more secure.

  • dirk.debeer.357 - 2013-01-08 06:32

    Groenpunt correctional facility is close to Deneysville near the Vaaldam in the Freestate,not Cape Town.

      osmaseko - 2013-01-08 07:42

      Is it the first time you read or comment on news24? Whoever that wrote this story is in cpt

  • arthur.salvado - 2013-01-08 07:00

    Another contract is going to be awarded for the repair of damages. Some government official via friends/ family will make millions. Viva tax payer viva

      tebalob - 2013-01-08 10:17

      arthur did you really have to burst our bubble like this?...cruel cruel cruel!!!!!!lmao

  • gerhard.goossens - 2013-01-08 07:13

    It is a criminal offence to be in posession of a mobile device while in a cell" whaaaaa they are criminals that is burning down the jail. I think the posession of a cell is the least of their probleme.

  • louis.nolte.3 - 2013-01-08 07:14

    I don't understand - when I go on news24 I am on the internet, so I can search exactly where groenpunt prison is on google - its in the Free State, not Cape Town. Gee whizz, rather check your facts before making silly comments.

  • louis.nolte.3 - 2013-01-08 07:15

    Shoot them all. Its about time our country says we won't take this nonsense any further.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2013-01-08 07:41

    This sort of happening occurs when the perception is gained that prisoners in a maximum security goal have rights. In many cases the government has allowed this to the case. In most other countries prisoners have no rights and are incarcerated in conditions far worse than encountered in any SA prison. Ask those people who have been locked in jails in South America and worst of all in Thailand and the likes.

  • frankflower - 2013-01-08 07:59

    As jy dom is... No sympathy for these idiots who forfeited their rights the day they were prosecuted and goaled...

  • John - 2013-01-08 08:00

    anyone know where I could trade in my skateboard for a bike?

  • velile.moses.16 - 2013-01-08 08:04

    Only in this country prisoners have rights they own phone their members of anc strike for what let them eat rice with water

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2013-01-08 10:24

    WTF! Why are these criminals allowed complain about prison conditions? They have more privileges than people outside,do not do "hard labour" and are just as bad inside prison as they were outside. Put the whole lot in solitary confinement for a month and the make them work for their "supper"

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-08 13:24

    It is also a criminal offence to set fire to buildings etc. Were they bored?

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