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Suicide in prison on the rise in Province

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“Inmates were killed as result of stabbing with self-made knives, assault with fists, and/or kicked to death.”

File picture: Pexels

SUICIDE is the most common type of unnatural death among inmates in prisons in South Africa – and on the rise in the Northern Cape.

This emerged in an annual report of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (Jics) tabled in Parliament recently.

The department is obliged to report prisoner deaths to the judicial inspectorate headed by Judge Johann van der Westhuizen.

“In 2017/18, 82 such prima facie unnatural deaths were reported to Jics, with suicides representing 27 (38%) of the total number of unnatural deaths,” the judicial inspectorate said.

It also found that inmate-on-inmate deaths were linked to inter-gang rivalry.

“Inmates were killed as result of stabbing with self-made knives, assault with fists, and/or kicked to death.”

Gauteng recorded 10 suicides, Western Cape four, Eastern Cape two, KwaZulu-Natal five, Free State and Northern Cape four each and three others in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West.