The brawl that broke out at a prison in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, ended in the death of one inmate and questions remain on how a sharp weapon was wielded by a prisoner in full view of wardens.
Mthatha prison brawl: What exactly happened?
Prison culture is well-documented and part of the initiation processes of joining one of the prevailing ‘numbers’ gangs involves stabbing a prison warden or an enemy.
More than likely, it seems that this is what may have happened at the Mthatha Correctional Facility on Tuesday.
In a statement, corrections spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed that at around midday, five prisoners randomly launched an attack on wardens and, specifically, four other inmates who were out during an exercise session.
The coordinated attack was caught on camera by an unknown individual watching on, almost expectedly, from inside the prison.
Here is the footage of the Mthatha prison brawl that’s since gone viral on social media:
Mthatha Correctional Facility, Eastern Cape. One prisoner died during a brawl with wardens this week. Video as received. pic.twitter.com/0aCRfgOf1B— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) January 12, 2022
According to Nxumalo, the ambush culminated in the death of an inmate who was part of the attacking group.
“One official and another inmate remain in hospital due to the seriousness of the injuries sustained,” he added.
A full-scale investigation has been launched to ascertain the motive behind the attack and, more importantly, if there were any elements of corruption involved since, inmates would have been thoroughly searched before they were escorted to the yard.
“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,” Nxumalo said.