Prison officers in court stand accused of killing inmate who was bitten by dog, beaten

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An inmate at Brandvlei Maximum Security Correctional Centre allegedly died after being beaten by staff and bitten by a dog during a scuffle.
An inmate at Brandvlei Maximum Security Correctional Centre allegedly died after being beaten by staff and bitten by a dog during a scuffle.
PHOTO: Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images/Sowetan
  • Several correctional services officers appeared in court, charged with the murder of a prisoner.
  • The prisoner was severely beaten, bitten by a dog, and died in hospital. 
  • It followed an investigation which found the officers had used excessive force.

Several correctional services department officers appeared in the Worcester Magistrate's Court in the Western Cape on Monday, charged with the murder of an inmate.

The inmate is alleged to have died after being beaten by staff and bitten by a dog during a commotion in prison.  

The Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) said it was grateful that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) finally gave the go-ahead to try the officers involved in the incident in 2015 at Brandvlei Maximum Security Correctional Centre in the Western Cape. 

"At least 14 other inmates were assaulted and injured during the incident by DCS (Department of Correctional Services) officials, and five inmates were sent to a public hospital," spokesperson Emerantia Cupido said in a statement. 

JICS investigated and found the dogs had been improperly deployed and that correctional services officials used excessive force.

On 31 January, the DPP gave the go-ahead to prosecute the implicated officers. 

READ | Prisoner killed during fight with prison officials and other inmates at Mthatha Correctional Centre

"Our efforts have not been in vain," said Cupido. "We are confident that this will bring much-needed relief to the affected parties and will serve as a precedent for similar cases in the future.

"We are hopeful that the family of the deceased will receive the justice they deserve."

On Monday, Quinton de Wee, Ebrahim May, Alton Setera and Sakhele Dondolo were charged with one count of murder and four counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

The case was postponed to 1 March for a Regional Court date. 

JICS declined to provide the name of the deceased prisoner. 

Brandvlei featured in a documentary by Raphael Rowe, called Inside the World's Toughest Prisons

In that episode, Rowe famously had to give his shoes to one of his cellmates.


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