Inmate killed, guard injured during scuffle at St Albans

2019-09-01 15:50
St Albans prison in the Eastern Cape. (Die Son)

St Albans prison in the Eastern Cape. (Die Son)

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An inmate was killed and a prison guard injured during a violent scuffle at St Albans Prison Correctional Centre in the Eastern Cape.

Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo on Sunday said the prison official is being stabilised in hospital.

Nxumalo said the incident took place on Sunday morning.

"The inmate who initiated the attack has unfortunately passed on following a scuffle with officials. The crime scene has been cordoned off in order to give space to the SAPS to gather evidence and conduct its own investigation. This is an unfortunate incident for the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) as a few months back DCS had to deploy the National Task Team to St Albans in order to stabilise operations at this centre," he said.

Nxumalo said trauma counselling is being provided, and the department is monitoring the centre to ensure that the situation is urgently stabilized.

"The senior management of the department is on its way to St Albans to receive a full briefing on the incident. A full investigation will be conducted as per the Correctional Services Act, and will bring to the fore details and circumstances behind this tragic incident," he said.

READ: 'Worst of the worst' inmates behind attack on St Albans prison guards

South African Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights (SAPOHR) founder Golden Miles Bhudu said they were saddened about the lost of another life and the injury of an official.

He described the prison as a ticking time-bomb.

He claimed the incident could have been avoided had a scheduled visit to the prison, by the organisation and national commissioner of correctional services Arthur Fraser, gone ahead two weeks ago.

Bhudu feared that similar incidents could flare up in other prisons countrywide if prisoners' rights were not adhered to.

He said St Albans Prison was permanently dogged by allegations of gang activity and prison guard brutality, long before Fraser became the national commissioner.

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Read more on:    eastern cape  |  correctional services  |  prison
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