WATCH: Butterworth inmates demand to be taken to court despite court closure after confirmed Covid-19 cases

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jun 17, 2020

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More than 30 armed inmates at Butterworth Correctional Center in the Eastern Cape were captured on camera demanding that they be taken to court even though the court was closed due to confirmed Covid-19 cases.

A video has been making rounds on social media, wherein rowdy remand detainees could be seen armed with man-made sharpened objects chanting, singing and demanding to be taken to court.

Correctional Services department Singabakho Nxumalo said 34 remand detainees closed the cell door with beds and demanded that they be taken to court even though the court was closed due to confirmed Covid-19 cases on Sunday.

Nxumalo said that the video could only be described as an act of hooliganism and thuggery, with utter disregard for authority. 

"It becomes very disturbing when those remanded in custody display no respect for law as such acts can only perpetuate intent to disobey laws of the country," he said. 

He said such infernal behaviour by remandees had no place in Correctional Services and shall be dealt with harshly whenever it tries to rear its ugly head.

“Law abiding citizens continue to abide by the lockdown regulations and it can only be an affront when those in lawful custody demand that they be taken to a closed court,” Nxumalo said.

He said the situation on Sunday demanded that action be taken swiftly by Correctional Services and order was restored on the same day.

“Searching was also conducted in an effort to remove all contrabands. The ringleaders were identified and relocated as disciplinary action is being meted against all participants,” he said.

Nxumalo said it has to be reemphasised that such criminal behaviour could not be tolerated by the Correctional Services department, “hence all 34 remand detainees will be spared no mercy.”

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