Inmates crying foul over the Correctional Services Department’s response to COVID-19 are being accused of trying to find a get-out-of-jail-free pass.
The prisoners said on Monday that they did not feel safe behind bars, and claimed that measures put in place to curb a possible outbreak were inadequate.
There are now more than 90 cases of COVID-19 in the country’s jails.
But the Correctional Services Department said the inmates were being opportunistic and were trying to force authorities to release them en masse.
Some prisoners claim the Correctional Services Department is failing to ensure they are safe from contracting COVID-19 while in jail. One inmate, who cannot be named, said that there weren’t enough resources to shield them against spreading the virus.
“We get one [bar of] soap to wash ourselves and to wash our clothes. Those are issues of serious concern.”
But the Correctional Services Department said that the prisoners were being disingenuous.
Spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said that the situation was under control.
“We have a clear policy and we are implementing it.”
With the large number of prisoners and staffers having been infected with the virus, the department said it was doing all it could to protect staff and inmates.