- Members of Parliament heard that a prison riot that resulted in the death of two inmates was in connection to former president Jacob Zuma
- The Department of Correctional Services says the riot started with a fire and was an attempted mass prison escape
- Nearly 200 inmates participated in the riot and it is believed that they had help from people outside the prison
A Department Correctional Services official told members of Parliament that a fatal prison riot was linked to former president Jacob Zuma's arrest.
Department of Correctional Services acting chief operations commissioner Phiko Mbambo also revealed that two prisoners were killed during the riot on July 12. The riot began with a fire at the Umzinto Correctional Centre on the province's South Coast, according to EWN.
Watch: What Mzansi’s international DJ star Black Coffee told CNN about South Africa’s looting and unrest
Mbambo stated that the riot was an attempted mass prison break and was initiated by nearly 200 prisoners.
“About 193 inmates, they torched the facility and they also burnt our logistics division. Fortunately, we didn’t have any escapes,” he said.
Mbambo also detailed how police were unable to access obstructed routes in their vehicles and had to rely on a helicopter to arrive at the correctional centre.
He added that an investigation was underway and one person had been identified as the instigator of the attempted mass prison. Mbambo also stated that inmates were aided by outside forces.
“And there are clues that he is not operating in isolation, he is operating with people outside - it is linked to the former president’s incarceration," he said.
This revelation comes after the department of correctional had repeated dismissed reports of riots at Estcourt Correctional Centre where Zuma is imprisoned.
The department had warned people against sharing fake news and misinformation concerning hunger strikes and riots inside the department's facilities, particularly the Estcourt Correctional Centre, according to News24.
The department stated that an old image was being used to spread misinformation to instigate public panic.
Jacob Zuma granted compassionate leave from prison to attend brother Michael's funeral
Briefly News recently reported that former President Jacob Zuma will be attending his brother Michael Zuma's funeral after he was granted compassionate leave.
The Department of Correctional Services confirmed the decision in a statement posted on Thursday morning but added that a sentenced offender remains a sentenced offender even if temporarily outdoors, according to EWN.
The department stated that Zuma made an application for compassionate leave late on Tuesday evening.
Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo stated that Zuma's leave was granted under section 44 (1)(a) of the Correctional Services Act, according to TimesLIVE.
The Department of Correctional Services had to assess a number of factors while granting him permission, including what activities Zuma wanted to participate in, how long he would be temporarily released, and the security threats he would face because he would still need to be protected by the department. Zuma is also considered a low-risk prisoner.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!