Sasapo Chairperson, Phumzile Zweni, says the strike is expected to be peaceful, but he is worried that prisoners might get aggressive.
The South African Sentence and Awaiting Trial Prisoners Organisation, (Sasapo) has confirmed that prisoners are set to embark on a strike on Monday following the alleged contravention of their rights during the lockdown.
The organisation says the inmates are very frustrated, with certain rules and fear that their safety has been compromised.
Sasapo Chairperson, Phumzile Zweni, says the strike is expected to be peaceful, but he is worried that prisoners might get aggressive, as they have raised these issues a number of times.
“They are not allowed to get any visitations; they are not allowed to get any monies as usual from their family members, and it’s infringement of their rights. They have only one set of uniform that they are wearing and there are no other uniforms. There is now a search being conducted by the unit, doing random search on the inmates with no mask and no gloves,” says Zweni.
The Department of Correctional Services has condemned the planned strike saying it is uncalled for, as they are doing all they can to manage the situation.
“We have put measures in place in terms of dealing with COVID-19 and we are saying out of 243 centres in the country, only one centre has inmates who have contracted the virus. We’ve taken care of those inmates and we continue to monitor the situation. Therefore, mobilising inmates to cause chaos is something that is totally disturbing,” says Singabakho Ngxumalo, Departmental Spokesperson.