Sui­cide in prison on the rise in Prov­ince


SUI­CIDE is the most com­mon type of un­nat­u­ral death among in­mates in pris­ons in South Africa – and on the rise in the North­ern Cape.

This emerged in an an­nual re­port of the Ju­di­cial In­spec­torate for Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices (Jics) tabled in Par­lia­ment re­cently.

The depart­ment is obliged to re­port pris­oner deaths to the ju­di­cial in­spec­torate headed by Judge Jo­hann van der Westhuizen.

“In 2017/18, 82 such prima fa­cie un­nat­u­ral deaths were re­ported to Jics, with sui­cides rep­re­sent­ing 27 (38%) of the to­tal num­ber of un­nat­u­ral deaths,” the ju­di­cial in­spec­torate said.

It also found that in­mate-on-in­mate deaths were linked to in­ter­gang ri­valry.

“In­mates were killed as re­sult of stab­bing with self-made knives, as­sault with fists, and/or kicked to death.”

Gaut­eng recorded 10 sui­cides, West­ern Cape four, East­ern Cape two, KwaZulu-Natal five, Free State and North­ern Cape four each and three oth­ers in Lim­popo, Mpumalanga and North West.

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