Court Order in Pollsmoor Remand Overcrowding Case

On 5 December 2016, the case launched by Sonke Gender Justice and Lawyers for Human Rights, in response to the extreme overcrowding and inhumane conditions suffered by detainees awaiting trial in Pollsmoor Remand Detention Facility, was heard by Judge Saldanha in the Western Cape High Court. The court found in their favour and declared that the Government’s failure to fulfil its obligations in terms of the Correctional Services Act is unconstitutional.

Government has been ordered to:

  • Reduce overcrowding to no more than 120% of its approved capacity – unless it can show good cause as to why they cannot by Wednesday 21 December.
  • Develop and file a comprehensive plan, by 31 January 2017, including timeframes for its implementation, which addresses and will put an end to: “the deficiencies in the provision of exercise, nutrition, accommodation, ablution facilities and healthcare services to the inmates of Pollsmoor RDF; and the deficiencies identified in Prison Visit Reports by Justice Cameron, dated 27 July 2015 and 13 August 2015 (the Cameron Report).”