14 awaiting trial prisoners stabbed, wounded at Westville prison

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The Correctional Services Department is investigating an incident in which 14 awaiting trial prisoners were stabbed and wounded in one of the cells at the Durban Westville prison.

The incident is said to have happened on Friday morning. It is alleged there was an altercation between the new and old prisoners.

The National Commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale says the prisoners used broken glass from a window to stab each other.

“They treated seven of them and another seven were treated externally. All of them are back in the centre, we don’t have any fatality but what we wanted to understand is what is the root cause because these offenders are remanded.”

Thobakgale has warned families and friends of inmates against giving them contraband in the form of weapons.

“One of the risks that we have realised is that our offenders when they go out to court they interact with family members and friends, and in that interaction they get weapons they bring inside correctional facilities. So one of the things that we were looking at is how we can actually ensure that we stopped that but at the same time we also encourage family members when they come for visits that they need to contribute to know a peaceful and stable setting in correctional facilities.”