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Probe into death of prisoner: report

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An investigation has been launched into the death of a prisoner who died at during an alleged gang ritual the Brandvlei Prison in Worcester, Western Cape, The Star reported on Thursday. The Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services launched the investigation after a prisoner died in a symbolic “spilling of blood” gang ritual, according to the report.

Western Cape commissioner of correctional services Delekile Klaas said a preliminary investigations revealed that the prisoner, Lubabalo Mzamo’s death was as a result of a gang ritual in a new section of the prison.

“Our investigation indicates that the attack could have been part of a traditional numbers gang initiation which often requires the spilling of blood to mark symbolic opening of the new centre,” Klaas said.

Mzamo reportedly died in Tygerberg Hospital after being in a coma for 10 days. Inspecting Judge Vuka Tshabalala said a report received last week indicated that Mzamo was killed allegedly by prison warders who tried to restrain him as he assaulted one of them.

Klaas said although the warders were lauded for their prompt response, the department condemned what appeared to be excessive use of force by some officials. SAPA

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