SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
South African authorities have announced they will take over the management of a maximum security prison run by G4S after the private security contractor “lost effective control of the facility”.
The South African department of correctional services (DCS) said on Wednesday that it was taking over Mangaung correctional centre outside Bloemfontein because of a “worrying deterioration of safety and security at the centre”.
The prison, which houses 3,000 high-risk inmates, has been rocked by a string of violent riots and stabbings and strikes by prison officers. Earlier this month, a prison officer was dragged into a cell by four inmates and held there for 13 hours before she was freed by riot police. The incident marked the third time a prison officer has been taken hostage since the facility opened in 2000 and was followed by several serious assaults on warders.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday yesterday, the acting national commissioner of correctional services, Nontsikelelo Jolingana, said “The contractor [G4S] has lost effective control of the facility.”