SA to take up prison abuse with Mozambique authorities

2014-03-10 10:23

A report of SA women being sexually abused and denied basic necessities in prisons in Mozambique will be taken up by the SA government. Spokesperson Nelson Kgwete said:

“The matter will be brought to the attention of the Mozambican authorities for further investigations.”

The Sunday Times reported that more than a dozen South African women are being held in shocking conditions and denied basic necessities, including toothpaste.

The newspaper reported that warders demand sex in exchange for soap or bread, and that the women survive on rotten beans and fish.

One woman died in 2012 after she could not get proper medical care.

Another, Ouma Thoko Maleke, who was arrested in 2011 and sentenced to 12 years behind bars, gave birth to a child two years ago and the child has never seen the outside world.

Nozipho Ikgihagu, who was arrested on September 9 last year, was eight months pregnant and spent 40 days in solitary confinement after an attempted escape.

Kgwete said officials from the South African High Commission in Maputo regularly visit prisons in Mozambique to monitor the condition of South African inmates.

“During the last visit, the prisoners complained about general prison conditions, such as poor medical treatment and food,” he said.

“Our information is that these conditions apply to all prisoners and are not exclusive to South African prisoners.”

The SA government offers consular services to prisoners and their families and part of this is to ensure that their basic human rights are respected.

An investigation will be called for and monitored by the SA High Commission in Maputo until the matter is brought to conclusion, Kgwete said.

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