Prison hunger strike over uniforms, bedding, family visits

Sentenced inmates at Johannesburg Correctional Centre (Sun City) Medium B embarked on a hunger strike last Wednesday demanding that the head of the prison Samuel Mahlanga resign, the Wits Justice Project (WJP) reported in The Saturday Star. Inmates said they were protesting Mahlanga’s denial of their privileges, as well as their conditions of confinement. They said that the hunger strike ended late Thursday afternoon when some inmates were intimidated by the Emergency Security Team and transferred to other prisons.

Four inmates told WJP that a petition was handed to Sun City management listing the inmates grievances and demands a week prior to the hunger strike. When management failed to return with a satisfactory response to the petition, the inmates went on hunger strike.

The prisoners’ main grievances related to dangerous conditions at Sun City. For example, they claimed a lack of healthcare professionals in the unit where inmates with infectious diseases are housed. “Inmates are being cared for by fellow inmates because there are no nurses,” said Thabong, whose name was not provided to protect his identity.

The WJP was told by inmates that family visits were limited to only 10 minutes, no cleaning supplies were provided, and some sentenced inmates lacked suitable bedding and uniforms.

The inmates said that prison management has offered to meet with them on May 9th, but they remain sceptical that their demands will be met.

Read full article here

Petition handed to management by Sun City Medium B inmates.

                                        Petition handed to management by Sun City Medium B inmates.

Petition handed to management by Sun City Medium B inmates.

                                   Petition handed to management by Sun City Medium B inmates.

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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