Smuggling of illegal items to blame for prison clashes

The control of illegal items being smuggled into Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town is behind bloody battles that broke out last week.

Correctional Services regional commissioner Delekile Klaas told the Cape Times that 10 inmates were injured in two fights between rival gangs.

The main reason was for control of items such as drugs and cellphones.

“We’re looking into where these items came from,” Klaas said.

The first fight broke out in the juvenile section on Wednesday and five inmates were injured. In a second fight the next day, another five inmates were injured.

Two inmates were recovering in outside hospitals and three were being kept in the prison’s hospital wing.

Klaas said they were investigating the possibility that a minority of officials could be working with inmates.

Gang leaders had been identified and placed in another area. Two rival gangs had also been separated.

Last October, a Pollsmoor warden was reportedly arrested for trying to smuggle in two packets of tik (methamphetamine), a packet of unused straws, 23 dagga sticks, two cellphones, five SIM cards and a cellphone charger for prisoners.

The warden was dismissed last week.

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