MEMBERS of the notorious 26 gang in Westville Prison in Durban claim their human rights are being violated because they are being forced to wear prison uniforms though they have not been convicted.
The gang of 26 members was arrested in 2007 for a string of cash-in-transit heists around the country. They face 31 charges.
Yesterday they said they were upset about languishing in prison for more than two years and had embarked on hunger strikes to ensure their complaints were heard. They were arrested at the Mvoti Toll Plaza in October 2007.
Golden Miles Bhudu, president of the South African Prisoners' Organisation for Human Rights, said it was "an extreme incident" when awaiting-trial prisoners were forced to wear convict uniforms.
"By law it's not allowed."
The men will appear in court again on August 3.
Correctional services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said he could only comment after discussions with the prison's head.