Pretoria Central Prison

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Pretoria Central Prison, renamed Kgosi Mampuru II Management Area by President Jacob Zuma on 13 April 2013[1] and sometimes referred to as Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Services[2] is a large prison in central Pretoria, within the City of Tshwane in South Africa. It is operated by the South African Department of Correctional Services.

The complex comprises six correctional centres, including the notorious C Max, Pretoria Local Prison, and a women's prison.[2] The new name is the same as the street name (renamed in the previous year), with both now bearing the name of Kgosi Mampuru, a 19th century local chief who resisted colonial rule and was subsequently hanged in 1883.[3]


1948-1991: Apartheid era[edit]

During the apartheid years, the huge complex was often known incorrectly as "Pretoria Central". In fact there were three separate clusters of prisons: Pretoria Central Prison proper, Pretoria (Local) Prison and a third known only as "Maximum" or "Beverley Hills". The latter was the ultra-maximum security section. There were also housing and recreational facilities for the prison wardens. divided into separate prisons for males and females of different racial classifications. It was on what was then Potgieter Street, later renamed Kgosi Mampuru Street.[4][3]

Pretoria Central Prison was the official site of capital punishment in South Africa during the apartheid era. Condemned prisoners were held in a section of the prison called "The Pot".[5] At one time, the prison gallows could hang up to 7 people at a time.[6]

Pretoria Central proper consisted of a number of separate prison buildings, each housing various divisions of prisoners based on racial classification and gender. This was a national prison and reception centre where many prisoners started and ended their sentences.[4]

Pretoria Prison, or Pretoria Local, housed local prisoners (split by race) as well as having a maximum security section for white political prisoners (black political prisoners being held in Robben Island, recidivists, habitual escapees, and the condemned. The section housing the white male political prisoners was an L-shaped three-storey building built in the late 1960s, consisting of 52 cells. As of 1978, the maximum number housed had been 22, with the average about 10; for this reason the remaining cells were occupied by prisoners awaiting trial. The inmates included Denis Goldberg (who had been sentenced at the Rivonia Trial with Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders), Raymond Suttner, and Jeremy Cronin.[4]

The old Pretoria Local Prison building was demolished around 1978 after other buildings had been built adjacent to it.[7]

1979 escape[edit]

In 1979 white political prisoners Tim Jenkin, Alex Moumbaris and Stephen Lee escaped from "the Local". After this escape, the building in which they had been held was completely refurbished with increased security features.[8]


2006: C Max escape[edit]

In November 2006 Annanias Mathe became the first prisoner to escape from the C Max part of the prison complex.[9] He was recaptured two weeks after his escape.[10]

2013: renaming[edit]

The complex was renamed Kgosi Mampuru II Management Area by President Zuma on 13 April 2013[1]

2017: riot[edit]

A prison warden and an inmate were injured during a prison riot in July 2017, after prisoners' concerns over delays in processing parole applications, poor food, overcrowding and violence by warders were sent in a memorandum to the justice minister Michael Masutha, who had been Minister of Justice and Correctional Services since 2014.[11]


The complex comprises six correctional centres, and includes a women's prison and Pretoria Local Prison.[2]

The remand centre is in the front of the facility. The supermax prison, now known as C Max and on the site of the former death row, is in the centre of the facility, on the lee of a hill.[12]

Notable inmates[edit]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Pretoria prison renamed after hanged man". News24. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Makatile, Don (10 July 2016). "Pics: Welcome to Pretoria's biggest prison". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Pretoria, City of Tshwane: Pretoria's New Street Names". ShowMe. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Jenkin, Tim (1987). "Escape from Pretoria" (PDF). South African History Online: 67–69. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  5. ^ Robert Adams (1998). The Abuses of Punishment. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 178. ISBN 0-312-17617-1.
  6. ^ "Before the Hangman Arrives". Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, South African Journal on Human Rights. 1989.
  7. ^ Jenkin, Tim (1987). "Escape from Pretoria" (PDF). South African History Online: 76. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  8. ^ Jenkin, Tim (1987). "Escape from Pretoria" (PDF). South African History Online: 189. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  9. ^ BBC News (2006-11-20). "S Africa manhunt after jailbreak". Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  10. ^ BBC News (2006-12-04). "S Africa's 'most-wanted' caught". Retrieved 2006-12-04.
  11. ^ Pijoos, Iavan (3 July 2017). "Kgosi Mampuru II warder and prisoner injured during riot". News24. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  12. ^ Ritchie, Kevin (2011-12-12). "Inside SA's factory of death". IOL. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
  13. ^ City of Tshwane. "The Mandela way (draft)" (PDF). Tshwane Heritage Tours. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Pistorius released under house arrest". 20 October 2015 – via
  15. ^ "Pistorius sentenced to six years in jail". 6 July 2016 – via

Coordinates: 25°45′40″S 28°10′54″E / 25.7612°S 28.1816°E / -25.7612; 28.1816