Mangaung prison report still being awaited

2014-10-14 18:13
(File, Volksblad)

(File, Volksblad)

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Cape Town - The Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services has still not received the report on government's 12-month investigation into abuses at the previously privately-run Mangaung prison.

"The simple answer is no, we have not received the department of correctional services investigative report into the Mangaung affair," Correctional Services' legal services manager Umesh Raga told Parliament's justice and correctional services portfolio committee on Tuesday.

ANC MP Vincent Smith expressed dismay that the report had not reached the inspectorate and said he would take the matter up with the department on Wednesday.

"If there is action that must be taken the sooner, the better. We will take it up."

This came after the committee heard a presentation from the Wits Justice Project which made the case that "the Correctional Services urgently needs to create a positive and well-functioning feedback loop between itself and DSC and between itself and the public".

Electric shocks

Researcher Robyn Leslie said this was under-scored by the difficulty the Wits Justice Project had in trying to establish the state of the investigation into allegations that inmates at the Mangaung Prison in the Free State were tortured and forcibly injected with anti-psychotic drugs.

The investigation was launched after the project, which is part of the journalism department at the University of Witwatersrand, revealed prisoners' complaints of ill-treatment.

Leslie cited accounts by two prisoners who claimed that they had been injected and given electric shocks at the prison, which was run by multi-national private security company G4S until October last year.

The department took over the running of the prison after the management lost control of the facility, which had seen a strike, riots and stabbings.

G4S dismissed 330 wardens and replaced them with uncertified staff, which was illegal and found itself in breach of its contract with the state.

Read more on:    cape town  |  prisons

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