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Warders' role in death of Waterval inmate investigated

By unknown | Apr 24, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The Department of Correctional Services has initiated an internal probe into allegations that warders at the notorious Waterval Prison, outside Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, stood by and applauded as inmates assaulted and stabbed three other inmates over the Easter weekend.

The allegations were first exposed by Sowetan.

Thamsanqa Dladla, 27, from Inanda, north of Durban, died as a result of the assaults.

He was buried on Saturday.

The Department of Correctional Services has not given any details about its internal probe.

Meanwhile, Dladla's mother, Khalathi Dladla, has vowed to find out how her son died.

"I did not expect my child to come home in a coffin," she said. "He told us he would be coming home soon."

She said Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour had to explain why violence in prisons was escalating.

Bhekuyise Mlambo, whose son is serving the last month of his six years in Waterval, said he was worried about his son's safety.

"I'm worried about my son," he said, "he might not come home alive. Balfour needs to tell us what kind of rehabilitation is given to our children.

"He should explain how sharp instruments find their way into prisons."

Golden Miles Bhudu, president of the South African Prisoners' Organisation for Human Rights, said Balfour owed the public an apology.

"Many prison deaths are not reported," he said.

"Over the Easter weekend alone, three prisoners were beaten up by warders at Krugersdorp, Ermelo and Waterval prisons."


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