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Former Wits SRC President Mcebo Dlamini. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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No human rights in SA jails

By unknown | Jul 01, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

IN THIS country a lot has been said about human rights but nothing is done about the human rights of prisoners and prisoners awaiting trial at South Africa's notorious prisons such as Sun City and a host of others.

Have former correctional services (what a misnomer) ministers and the current one ever gone to Sun City at night and listened to the heartbreaking screams of inmates who are being abused and who don't have any recourse because they are locked up?

If an inmate complains to the authorities about the goings-on in the cells and other prisoners get wind of it the punishment is to gang-rape the complainant.

What are the authorities planning to do about the bad conditions in South African prisons? Does a person's human rights cease to exist when that person enters prison? Human rights are inalienable God-given rights and should be enjoyed by everyone - even in prisons.

The principle of presumption of innocence regarding awaiting-trial prisoners is violated because they are exposed to gang rapes while waiting for their court dates.

If acquitted, they will have suffered the cruelty meted out to them while awaiting their court dates. So what is the use of mouthing pious platitudes such as "innocent until proven guilty" while they are in effect guilty until proven innocent?

And it is the poor who suffer, yet the ruling party claims that it is pro poor.

The rich and powerful are untouchable. Examples abound. Schabir Schaik, Glenn Agliotti, Mark Thatcher ... the list is endless. What a mockery of justice and democracy.

Sam Ditshego, Kagiso


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