The Department of Correctional Service has confirmed that one inmate has died after being involved in a fight at a prison in Mthatha, the Eastern Cape.

The deceased was reportedly part of a group of five inmates who attacked four other inmates and even prison officials during an exercise session on Tuesday afternoon, 11 January 2022.

“DCS can confirm an incident where five offenders attacked officials and four other inmates during an exercise session around midday on Tuesday at the Mthatha Correctional Centre, Eastern Cape region,” said Department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.

The circumstances surrounding how the violence even started remain unclear at this point.

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The Department of Correctional Service says the Mthatha prison fight is now the subject of an investigation, both internally and by the South African Police Service (SAPS)

“Unfortunately, one inmate from the five attackers succumbed to his injuries and passed on during the fracas. One official and another inmate remain in hospital due to the seriousness of the injuries sustained,”

The Department of Correctional Service spokesperson, Singabhako Nxumalo 

Nxumalo says the department was monitoring the situation and the facility would remain on high alert.

“The Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services has also been informed and is expected to run its own independent investigation. It is the outcome of the investigation which will shed more light on the motive and circumstances that may have triggered this incident,”

The Department of Correctional Service spokesperson, Singabhako Nxumalo 

Further afield, prisoners at a correctional facility in the Philippines were killed after also being involved in a fight. It is believed that the brawl had been started between two inmates and soon erupted in a clash of rival gangs.

Violence is common in Philippine jails where inadequate infrastructure and a slow-moving and overburdened judicial system means cells are sometimes filled to five times their capacity, AFP reports.

A spokesperson has been quoted as saying that security has been beefed up since the attack.

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