South Africa 31.12.2016 05:16 am

Gangs behind PE’s deadly jail attack

Inmates are seen inside a prison courtyard. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Inmates are seen inside a prison courtyard. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

About 30 gang members used Boxing Day to attack prison officials during the breakfast service.

A deadly prison attack killing three inmates the day after Christmas at Port Elizabeth’s maximum security prison was plotted and executed by gang members.

National Commissioner of Correctional Services Zach Modise said about 30 gang members, belonging mostly to the lethal and notorious 27s and 28s gangs inside the St Albans prison used Boxing Day to attack prison officials during the breakfast service.

“Normally, these gangs have got this tradition on the [significant] day of the year to attack officials…

Yes, we are worried… that is why we are here,” Modise said following a briefing on Tuesday.

St Albans, one of the “top five” maximum security prisons in SA has a reputation for gang violence against guards and the smuggling of dagga and Mandrax.

The stabbing spree played out in the dining area of the maximum security section, which houses 647 inmates. At the time of the attack only 33 prisoners had been released from two cells.

In a statement released after visiting the locked-down prison Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla said the offenders were carrying sharp objects and self-made knives.

 

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