‘Re­venge at­tack’ on pris­oner’s child, 8

The Times (South Africa) - - NEWS - GRAEME HOSKEN and SIPHO MABENA

TWO Jo­han­nes­burg prison warders al­legedly sex­u­ally as­saulted and man­han­dled the eight-yearold son of a pris­oner who blew the whis­tle on their ap­par­ent in­volve­ment in the death of four in­mates at Leeuwkop prison.

The al­leged abuse oc­curred in a room ad­ja­cent to the prison’s vis­i­tors’ wait­ing area a week ago dur­ing vis­it­ing hours.

The boy and his mother were vis­it­ing his fa­ther, whose name has been with­held to pro­tect the iden­tity of the boy, when the child was at­tacked. The fa­ther, who is serv­ing an eight-year sen­tence for car theft, is the mother’s fi­ancé.

The at­tack oc­curred af­ter the boy was sep­a­rated from his mother and herded into a room with two other men who were vis­it­ing rel­a­tives at the prison.

In­side the room the warders searched the men and the boy. The search ap­par­ently in­volved par­tially strip­ping the men and the boy.

The woman said her son was dis­traught. “Ev­ery time I try to get him to tell me ex­actly what hap­pened he bursts into tears. He points to his gen­i­tals and cries.

“He says he tried to tell them to stop, but they would not and [said] they were do­ing this be­cause of what his daddy did to them. He has night­mares and can­not sleep by him­self,” said the mother.

She said her son had been play- ing with an­other in­mate’s daugh­ter, who was wait­ing to see her fa­ther, when she was sep­a­rated from her son in a com­mo­tion.

“I could not find him. The next thing I knew he was run­ning out of a small room. The warder was com­ing out with two other men.”

The mother of the boy said last year her fi­ancé had in­formed the prison’s au­thor­i­ties about how the warders’ neg­li­gence had al­legedly led to four pris­on­ers’ deaths.

She said he wit­nessed an in­ci­dent when a fire started in a cell and the warders had de­lib­er­ately de­layed open­ing the cell door.

“They [the warders] were … up­set with the pris­on­ers be­cause they were on a hunger strike and had not wanted to come out of their cells. When the fire started they took their time to open the cell. He said by the time they did open the door four of the pris­on­ers were dead,” the woman told The Times.

Ever since her fi­ancé re­ported the warders they had been tar­get­ing him, she said.

The Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices said the al­leged as­sault of the child was re­ported to the depart­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion unit.

Ofentse Mor­wane, the depart­ment’s Gaut­eng spokesman, said: “The in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the de­part­men­tal in­ves­ti­ga­tion unit will con­firm what fur­ther steps should be taken, pro­vided the al­le­ga­tions are true.

“[The depart­ment] will not hes­i­tate to en­sure that any per­son/s found guilty of any un­law­ful act or omis­sion in this mat­ter face the con­se­quences of their ac­tions.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.