Correctional Services Dept investigating Pollsmoor violent clashes

Officers tried to open one of the cells to conduct searches when inmates barricaded doors, started breaking cell windows and set mattresses alight.

FILE: Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Correctional Services Department says it cannot yet confirm if violent clashes at Pollsmoor Prison earlier this week are gang-related.

An investigation is underway to determine what led to a chaotic stand-off between inmates and police at the facility’s Medium B section on Monday.

The section was placed on lockdown after the Public Order Policing Unit had to use stun grenades to stabilise the unit.

Officers tried to open one of the cells to conduct searches when inmates barricaded doors, started breaking cell windows and set mattresses alight.

Correctional Services Department spokesperson Simphiwe Xako says: “At the clash, eight cellphones were recovered and 13 self-made knives. An investigation into the situation is underway. At the moment, we’re not sure what led to the violence.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)