The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) on Saturday said they were “severely disturbed” by conditions at Pollsmoor Prison.
The union called on the Department of Correctional Services to intervene and “speedily comply and ensure basic standards as articulated by the Bill of Rights”.
In a statement, Popcru said the Pollsmoor Remand Detention Facility and Women’s Correctional Centre was reported to be at 300% capacity with 4 198 inmates.
“This is a state of affairs that exposes the negligent attitude displayed those accountable for the wellbeing of inmates.
Not only does overcrowding and the lack of sufficient sanitary facilities affect inmates and staff at the Pollsmoor Prison, but has for some time being an issue of national concern,” the statement said.
Popcru said ablution facilities were minimal and overcrowding saw inmates and staff falling victim to diseases associated with “such inhumane conditions”.
“Our view is that prisons should not become a death sentence, but a platform with which those who have been found to have offended are rehabilitated so they could later be integrated and play a meaningful role in our society.”