Prison guards down tools over work conditions

Seven fed-up prison guards at the Mdantsane prison's A section downed tools this morning and refused to feed breakfast to 766 prisoners due to safety concerns.

A crisis meeting is currently under way between the union Popcru and the prison authorities led by Mdantsane prison area commissioner Mamokete Mokgorosi to iron out the matter.

The guards are fearing for their lives as they are outnumbered by the prisoners whom some are deemed dangerous, said the Police, Prison and Civil Rights Union (Popcru).

There are 1 462 prisoners at the overcrowded facility guarded by 25 wardens per shift, a situation Popcru said was a safety hazard to its members.

Popcru provincial secretary Zamikhaya Skade told the Dispatch that the guards were subjected to highly dangerous working conditions with no special danger allowance.

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