Inmates at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison claim they were assaulted and stripped naked by wardens last night in an attempt to “silence” them for voicing issues within the prison.
An inmate told The Citizen yesterday that around 9 PM, warders barged into the G Block of the B section with teargas, pepper spraying the cells.
“They stripped some of us naked and started assaulting us. Some of the prisoners’ management committee members, who speak to management on our behalf, were taken away and we did not know where they were.”
The committee members were responsible for ensuring parole applications were processed on time, he said.
Protesting against the delay in parole proceedings for those serving life in prison, the inmates had been on a hunger strike yesterday, following riots on Sunday.
“We are on a hunger strike also because of the incompetence of the officials here at this prison. We think they want to cause confusion among us so that we don’t continue with the strike. They want to discourage us.”
The department could not yet provide comment at the time of publishing today.
But Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha confirmed last week a backlog in processing parole applications. He said a review of the parole system was being developed.
The main reasons submissions of profiles to the parole board were delayed, was a lack of reports from social workers and psychologists, as well as restorative justice interventions, spokesperson Logan Maistry said on Monday.
“The department has embarked on a project to fill these vacancies. In certain circumstances, offenders are transferred to centres where such services by psychologists and social workers are available.”