Prison guards suspended over inmate’s death

2008-01-23 00:00

SEVEN officials at Pietermaritzburg’s New Prison are to be suspended with immediate effect following allegations of their involvement in the death of a 28-year-old inmate last week.

The Witness was informed by Correctional Services officers last week that Senzo Zepharia Mazibuko, who was serving a sentence for robbery, was beaten to death by prison officers, allegedly acting on instructions from a senior official.

The senior official, whose name is known to The Witness, allegedly instructed that Mazibuko be “taught a lesson” following a fight with another prisoner.

Nkosinathi Nhleko, regional commissioner at the Correctional Services Department, announced yesterday that the department has launched an investigation into the circumstances around the death.

The investigation will run parallel to the ongoing police criminal investigation. Police had not made any arrests by yesterday.

Nhleko said the suspensions are in “no way a punitive measure”, but to “protect the investigation”.

The suspensions follow a preliminary investigation. This Nhleko declined to discuss, saying to do so would be “irresponsible”.

The five investigators, from outside Pietermaritzburg, will use the following terms of reference:

• if there was a fight between Mazibuko and another inmate,

• if the fight was gang related,

• if Mazibuko was assaulted by Correctional Services officers,

• if allegations that officials encouraged the assault on Mazibuko are true, and

• if Mazibuko was further assaulted after being taken to the prison’s internal hospital.

The investigation will seek to establish why the death was not reported earlier. Nhleko said that his office only got to know of the death two days after it happened.

Nhleko could not say when the investigation would be concluded, but said: “In the next two weeks there should be clarity as to where the investigation is taking us”. He promised to report back to the public.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.