Cops move in to quell prison riot

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Deneysville, Free State - Police task teams entered Groenpunt prison in Deneysville, Free State, on Monday night to try and quell a riot by inmates, correctional services said.

“The police have moved in to try and bring the situation under control. A total of 227 prisoners are staying in the section where the fire was started,” deputy regional commissioner Grace Molatedi said.

Prisoners attacked and injured at least four warders.

The riot began around 4pm when prisoners refused to eat and started setting fires.

Molatedi said the prisoners had raised complaints about the facility through local media.

“The complaints range from the poor quality of the food and about some of the prison officials. They also want one of the unit heads to be fired.”

The department would investigate their grievances, she said.

Around 11pm on Monday prisoners continued to vandalise the facility and set fire to cells and offices, police spokesman Constable Peter Kareli said.

“There is a lot of commotion coming from inside... and shouting by the prisoners. No one is allowed to go in so far.” - Sapa

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