Prisoner allowed to visit ill son

2013-12-09 00:00

HIGH risk security prisoner Jaiseelan Govindsamy (45) may visit his desperately sick son Dante-Lee (13) in the paediatric critical care unit in Grey’s Hospital twice this month.

Judge Jacqueline Henriques gave this ruling in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Friday.

Dante-Lee, who is on a ventilator, suffers from Leigh’s disease, a neurometabolic disease that affects the central nervous system.

His prognosis is dismal; medical experts say that few children with his condition survive teenage years.

Govindsamy is serving 15 years in New Prison for murdering his wife Anthea by stabbing her 19 times at Howick Falls in the presence of Dante-Lee, his sister and a cousin in March 2007.

Correctional Services have opposed permission for the visits, citing security regulations forbidding visits by inmates in high security sections and a staff shortage.

Govindsamy’s mother, Pushpam Govindsamy, applied to the high court for permission, saying that in handcuffs and leg irons there was no chance of escape.

She said that there was a close relationship between the father and son and when Dante-Lee heard his father’s voice on a cellphone his face brightened.

Although Dante-Lee cannot speak, he has indicated by gestures that he wants to see his father. A pyschologist said that Dante-Lee would benefit from visits by his father.

Henriques said that the visits should be outside normal hospital visiting hours. The first should be between December 9 and 13 and the second between December 23 and 27.

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