Durban's Westville prison in uproar after second stabbing in under a week

The correctional services department said a prisoner stabbed another at 8.15am on Sunday.
The correctional services department said a prisoner stabbed another at 8.15am on Sunday.
Image: 123RF/Stockstudio44

Offenders involved in a stabbing incident on Sunday morning at Durban's Westville prison — in which five inmates were injured — will be separated and moved to various maximum facilities.

The correctional services department's Thulani Mdluli said a prisoner stabbed another at 8.15am on Sunday.

“There were 44 offenders outside their cell ready for breakfast as a procedure when suddenly a commotion of one offender stabbing another offender with a sharpened object occurred. The Emergency Support Team (EST) and Dog Unit team were quick to disarm the perpetrator and two others who were part of the incident.

“In the process of disarming offenders using minimum force, five offenders including the victim sustained injuries and have been transferred to an external hospital for medical attention.”

Seven officials and one offender sustained injuries at the prison on August 13, “in the very same unit, where five knives that were used during the incident were confiscated”.

“What is alarming is that no visits are allowed at the moment in all correctional centres in the country due to Covid-19 yet there are weapons found inside centres,” correctional services said.

“In order to mitigate the situation, all these offenders involved will immediately be  transferred to eBongweni Maximum Centre and other maximum facilities outside the region.”

Mdluli said the breakfast proceedings continued as per normal after the situation was contained.

Following Sunday’s incident, Mandla Mkabela, COO for correctional services, visited the prison.

He called on officials to probe how the incident unfolded.

“The department will not leave any stone unturned since an internal investigation has been instituted. Individuals that may be implicated by an investigation, including officials and offenders, disciplinary action will be taken against them without fear or favour,” Mkabela said.

“We will continue to uphold our centres as theatres of operations not as war zones because we have to focus on providing the best correctional services for a safer SA.”

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