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Port Elizabeth - The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said on Monday that the situation at St. Albans Correctional Centre in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, was back to “normal”.

This after a stabbing incident unfolded on Sunday in which an inmate died and an official was stabbed.

Department spokesman, Singabakho Nxumalo said that the injured official was in a stable condition at hospital.

DCS also noted with regret the allegations of staff shortages as the underlying cause of the incident. 

“The official was stabbed by an inmate during breakfast yesterday morning. Serving was done cell-by-cell; it is, therefore, a perpetrated falsehood that nine officials were looking after 403 inmates.”

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) had earlier slammed DCS for overcrowding at prisons and claimed that nine officials were counting a group of 403 inmates and preparing to feed them when the stabbing incident occurred.

“We have to make it clear that this incident occurred at the Medium B section, and not at the Maximum facility that has remained stable for months following the deployment of the National Task Team,” said Nxumalo.

DCS said it remained fully committed to the humane treatment of every inmate in line with the Nelson Mandela Rules as rectified by the United Nations. 

“We wish to convey our thanks, and appreciation, to our correctional officials who put their lives at risk every day, the South African Police Service and all other emergency services for their swift response to yesterday’s incident.”

African News Agency (ANA)