E London inmates go on hunger strike

Thabang Makwetla spekaing to the SABC
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An uprising by inmates at the East London prison has caught the attention of the national authorities. The deputy minister of correctional services, Thabang Makwetla, visited the facility to conduct an assessment of the living conditions there.

Earlier this week inmates embarked on a hunger strike over safety concerns. They also set bedding alight in some of the cells.

They want management to deal with over-crowding among others.

The facility has a capacity of 836 but it currently houses an estimated 1530 inmates. Overcrowding in prisons is a nationwide problem.

The inmates also want improved health services. A case of malicious damage to property has been opened.

Earlier this week the South African Prisoners Organization for Human Rights expressed its concern about the conditions at the East London prison.

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