Prison denies abuse allegations

2017-11-03 06:00

FOUR prisoners at the Kokstad Medium Prison allegedly went on a hunger strike last week protesting about the criteria used to deliver their study material by the prison, and alleged bad treatment meted out to them.

The prisoners claim the wardens beat them and don’t allow them to bath or get medical attention.

Correctional Service Spokesperson Thulani Mdluli denied the allegations, saying no complaint had been received from inmates.

He also said there is a request register for inmates to use to inform the authorities about any challenges they may have encountered.

Prisoners at the centre have in the past complained about being chained when removed from their cells, limited visitation rights and being limited to exposure to sunlight.

Mdluli said according to their internal investigation, the allegations of four offenders deprived of study material are not true.

“Our routine systems of access to library through SRAC office has never stopped, and all those that are attending school are provided with study material.

“It is recoded that there are four offenders who were found in possession of dagga on September 27, and thus their privileges, which include among others, visits and telephone calls, were suspended for three months, which is in accordance with our internal disciplinary code for inmates” said Mdluli. He also said the allegations regarding the four prisoners being on a hunger strike aren’t true.

“According to our B-Order, sub order B, chapter 13 which details procedures to be followed when inmates enter on hunger strike no such records exist. All inmates are well informed about B-Order procedures,” said Mdluli

“[The allegations about not being allowed to bath] It is not true as offenders are always given time to bath on a daily basis as per the structured day programme. This also should have been recorded in complaints and request register or simply reported to head of the centre as to who denied them a bath so that the problem is immediately sorted,” said Mdluli.

He also denied that they are not allowing them to be visited by their family, saying that offenders are always given a chance to be visited by their family even if there are further charges.

He said nobody denies a visitor without a valid­ reason.

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