Kre­j­cir feels the chill

Czech claims jail con­di­tions in Kok­stad are ‘in­hu­mane’

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - IN­GRID OELLERMANN

CON­VICTED Czech drug dealer Radovan Kre­j­cir is un­happy with con­di­tions at Kok­stad prison which he de­scribes as “one of the cold­est places in South Africa”.

He al­leges among other things that he is made to have cold show­ers, has in­ad­e­quate cloth­ing and says the toi­let in his cell was un­til re­cently not flush­ing cor­rectly.

“This re­sulted in a nox­ious smell. The toi­let was even­tu­ally re­paired on July 1. My cell is ex­cep­tion­ally cold, I do not get any ex­er­cise, food which is de­liv­ered to me is cold and the con­di­tions in the cell and sur­round­ing ar­eas are ex­tremely dusty which af­fects my lungs. I have lost two kilo­grams of weight in the last few days,” he said in an af­fi­davit.

He com­plains he can’t con­sult his le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives at Kok­stad, that le­gal priv­i­lege is breached by prison of­fi­cials who in­fringe on his con­sul­ta­tions and doc­u­ments, that he has been re­fused his cor­rect med­i­ca­tion, and is held in “in­hu­mane and de­grad­ing” con­di­tions, in­clud­ing soli­tary con­fine­ment.

Kre­j­cir’s Gaut­eng trial along with his co­ac­cused for the mur­der of Le­banese drug dealer, Sam Issa at Bed­ford­view re­sumes on July 31.

He also faces an ex­tra­di­tion hear­ing on July 21 and charges of at­tempt­ing to es­cape and fraud at Kemp­ton Park Mag­is­trate’s Court.

Kre­j­cir brought an­other ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court yes­ter­day re­quest­ing that he be trans­ferred to a prison in Gaut­eng.

Kre­j­cir says Kok­stad C­Max where he has been held “on and off” for six months is 700 km from where his le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives are based, and he can­not have fam­ily vis­its.

The mat­ter was, how­ever, ad­journed in­def­i­nitely af­ter Kre­j­cir’s lawyers with­drew when he was not brought to court, and his ad­vo­cate Sonja Franke said as a re­sult they were un­able to ob­tain in­struc­tions from him.

Ad­vo­cate C. J. Pam­menter, SC, rep­re­sent­ing Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices stressed that it was not the depart­ment’s duty to ar­range for Kre­j­cir to be brought to court. He said it was the duty of Kre­j­cir’s lawyers, with the regis­trar of the high court to make ar­range­ments.

Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices nev­er­the­less in­tends to file a “full” an­swer­ing af­fi­davit in re­sponse to Kre­j­cir’s var­i­ous al­le­ga­tions, he said.

Judge Nkosi­nathi Chili ad­journed the case there­after but no date was set.

Mean­while in an in­terim af­fi­davit, Si­fiso Mabuza, the le­gal ad­viser to the of­fice of the na­tional com­mis­sioner of cor­rec­tional ser­vices, suggested that Kre­j­cir has “an ul­te­rior mo­tive” in bring­ing re­peated ap­pli­ca­tions to court.

He said, as with a sim­i­lar ap­pli­ca­tion by Kre­j­cir in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court in Jan­uary this year, Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices would sug­gest to the judge pres­i­dent that when the mat­ter was set down for hear­ing it was “at a se­cure venue to be de­ter­mined by the judge pres­i­dent”.

“This is af­ter all, the sixth ap­pli­ca­tion which the ap­pli­cant [Kre­j­cir] has brought in var­i­ous high courts seek­ing sub­stan­tially the same re­lief,” he added.

In his ap­pli­ca­tion pa­pers Kre­j­cir com­plained that cor­rec­tional ser­vices of­fi­cials had vi­o­lated un­der­tak­ings they gave him in Jan­uary.

He said he still can’t con­sult with his lawyers or pre­pare for trial. He com­plained that for his last sched­uled court hear­ing on June 30 he was not taken to court and that Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices had also failed to “present” him at court at some of his other hear­ings.

He also said his child can­not visit him at Kok­stad for var­i­ous rea­sons and said since he has lit­tle con­tact with fam­ily other than “oc­ca­sional tele­phone calls” he would like to be able to skype. He is pre­pared to pay for this.

Kre­j­cir said his re­cent trans­fer to Kok­stad on June 23 was “with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion” and he can’t un­der­stand why he is there. “It is well known that the prison in Kok­stad is where un­sta­ble and vi­o­lent pris­on­ers are sent. I sub­mit I don’t fit into this cat­e­gory and there is no record of any mis­be­haviour on my part — no charges have been brought against me. I am not vi­o­lent, I am not ag­gres­sive and my re­moval to Kok­stad is sim­ply an abuse of power.”

But in his af­fi­davit, Mabuza said the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer in Kre­j­cir’s cases said his trans­fer on June 23 from Pre­to­ria’s Kgosi Mam­puru prison to Ebong­weni Prison in Kok­stad was due to a “se­cu­rity breach”.

How­ever, he said he could not give de­tails at this stage be­cause of the sen­si­tiv­ity of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“It is well known that the prison in Kok­stad is where un­sta­ble and vi­o­lent pris­on­ers are sent. I sub­mit I don’t fit into this cat­e­gory and there is no record of any mis­be­haviour on my part ...”

PHOTO: FILE

Radovan Kre­j­cir.

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