The total number of COVID-19 cases at the Department of Correctional Services now stands 767 with 285 officials and 482 inmates. Additional cases relate to seven officials in the Western Cape, four in the Eastern Cape and one in Gauteng. The Eastern Cape has the highest number of cases, 494, with three deaths.
The Department has recorded a recovery rate of 23.98% with 184 recoveries. Active cases are thus standing at 577.
Latest COVID-19 stats at Correctional Services below:
Overcrowding at Correctional facilities
Meanwhile, inmates in Correctional Centres across the country are living in fear with some saying there is poor adherence to COVID- 19 regulations in some of the facilities. This is largely attributed to overcrowding. The SABC obtained video footage showing overpopulated prison cells.
The department says it is impossible to comment on the video which is not clear and unidentifiable. Inmates also complain about the use of bucket toilets in some Correctional facilities.
“We do not have even a single facility that uses the bucket system. We have proper ablution facilities for our inmates and officials. Overcrowding does exist in some of our centres, especially in metros. The President allowed or gave us approval for parole placements. Those are being considered by the parole board,” says Department spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo.
Phindile Zweni of The South African Sentenced and Awaiting Trail Prisoners Organisation says they want answers.
“It’s very clear that the department is not going to engage with us. We therefore now urge the Minister to have a look at these allegations. We urge the families of the inmates who have lost their lives to make contact with us.”