In May, OFM News confirmed the prison, run by Bloemfontein Correctional Contracts (BCC) had reported its first covid-19 case to the Free State Health Department. Since then reports on the ground indicate the situation has worsened, with the SABC reporting that inmates set a cell on fire, demanding that management be more forthcoming regarding the state of contagion. G4S is yet to comment on the allegations but is expected to do soon.
In May BCC – in which G4S is a shareholder – revealed to OFM News, that a woman working at Mangaung Correctional Centre’s library, is believed to have contracted the virus outside of the prison. The prison maintained that it was working closely alongside the provincial health department to trace all contacts and ensure all the necessary precautions and protocols are followed.
According to BCC, all individuals with whom the employee has had contact have been tested and remain in self-isolation at their homes. All inmates who have come into contact with the infected employee are now isolated in a separate ward in the facility. BCC adds that all areas have been re-sanitised. The prison company does not confirm rumours that an inmate has also been infected.
The Mangaung private prison assures the public that since the outbreak of the virus in the country, they have taken the necessary precautions to protect inmates and all G4S employees. This has come in the form of regular sanitisation of the prison and the provision of gloves, masks and hand santizers. They say the provincial health department has inspected the prison’s health facility and they have green lit it for use amidst the outbreak.