Appalling conditions tackled at Pollsmoor Prison

Sonke Gender Justice won a case challenging poor conditions at the Pollsmoor Remand Detention Facility in the Cape Town High Court on Monday.

Last year they filed an application against the government and the head of the prison after receiving complaints of severe overcrowding and “appalling” conditions at the facility‚ which is used to house detainees awaiting trial.

The NGO was represented by Lawyers for Human Rights and has been tracking conditions at the prison since 2014.

They found that it was operating at 249% of capacity‚ and that detainees were deprived of basic amenities including nutrition‚ ablution facilities and healthcare services.

The court ordered the government to develop a comprehensive plan‚ including time frames‚ to address the problems at the facility which it said were inconsistent with the Constitution.

According to the law‚ detainees must be held under conditions of human dignity‚ and should be provided with a diet to promote good health and an opportunity to exercise.

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