Inmate’s rape ordeal

2019-02-18 15:52

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A desperate inmate at New Prison alleges he has been subjected to a series of rapes from last October by other prisoners while his pleas for help have been ignored.

The 30-year-old, who is serving a 15-year sentence at New Prison, told The Witness how he has been repeatedly sexually violated by other prisoners. He has also accused prison authorities of ignoring his appeal for protection.

However, the spokesperson for Correctional Services in KZN, Thulani Mdluli, maintains that the inmate was referred for medical care after he complained, but a doctor had not found any evidence that he was in fact raped.

Meanwhile, police confirmed that they are investigating the alleged rape charge.

The man, who may not be identified, complained to The Witness of the “cruel, inhumane and degrading” treatment he has been receiving following his conviction last year.

“I need assistance as I am now sick and these prisoners who sodomised me have not been charged,” he told The Witness.

He alleges he was sexually assaulted by three fellow inmates last October. This happened on one of his assailants’ beds in a cell. The inmate said he suspected he was drugged at the time but was not sure what drug was used on him.

“I do not recall much of what happened but I remember waking up and one of the men forcing themselves on me.

“I started hallucinating, screaming and seeing strange things and one of the guys got so irritated he eventually left,” said the man.

He said although he reported the matter to prison authorities, his assailants were not brought to book.

A case was also opened at the Prestbury police station, but the inmate said he had not received any feedback from the police since.

“I do not know why, because I gave them the names of the people who did this to me. I doubt anyone is even investigating,” he said.

Following the rape in October, the inmate claimed he was not given medical treatment and was kept in an isolation cell for months.

He claims to have been raped again after the original incident, adding that he has also been subjected to mockery from other inmates.

“They pass snide remarks and I’m now known as the ‘prison girlfriend’. It hurts, the wardens knows that this is happening ... no one cares.”

He said together with the rapes, the ongoing dismissal of his plight by authorities who should have protected him has left him feeling helpless and depressed.

He said it has made him sick and he has been in and out of hospital.

He also alleges he contracted a venereal disease as a result of the rapes.

The young man’s distraught father told The Witness he got no help when he tried to report the rapes to New Prison authorities.

“Even the prison social worker didn’t want to give us the time of day. It’s a depressing situation, my son doesn’t deserve what is happening to him,” the father said.

The elderly man said he receives weekly phone calls from his son crying out for help.

“As a father I feel helpless. The prison head told me that all these incidents were a figment of my son’s imagination. My question is, if my son is mentally disturbed, why are they keeping him with mentally stable prisoners?”

Correctional Services spokesperson Mdluli said after authorities received a complaint from the inmate about claims of being raped, he was immediately referred for medical care.

“All medical procedures were conducted inside the New Prison hospital, since we have all necessary medical practitioners at primary health care level. The doctor’s examination report revealed that no rape occurred.

“His family was also informed about the outcome of the matter,” said Mdluli.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthoko Ngobese said police are dealing with the matter, which is still under investigation.

Ngobese said one of the assailants had already been released from prison and police were still looking for him.

“The other two accomplices appeared in court, but the case was thrown out because the main suspect was not there,” said Ngobese.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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