THE woman who claimed to have been locked up in a male section of Westville Prison tfor six months is a "liar".
The top management of the notorious prison said during a media briefing that the 36-year-old mother of five, Amaravathee Wilson, "fooled prison officials into believing that she was a man who had undergone a sex change".
Wilson hit the headlines last week when Sowetan broke the story about how she claimed to have been kept in the male section of prison against her will. But yesterday Correctional Services officials claimed that Wilson "wanted to be locked in the male section of the prison".
The KwaZulu-Natal regional commissioner of correctional services Mnikelwa Nxele described Wilson's case as "very serious and sensitive".
He read from a statement allegedly written by Wilson in 2003 after an investigation by prison officials into why she had spent time in the male section of the prison was completed.
In the statement Wilson stated that she enquired from a fellow accused who was a transvestite how she could go about getting into the male section of the prison.
The statement goes on to say that she told the prison officials that she was "a sex change". She said she wanted the prison officials to believe that she was "a moffie".
Nxele said: "All we would like to say at this stage was that this woman was not a victim as she claims. At the time, we conducted an investigation and after she was held there for six months, we verified her correct gender and sent her to the female section.
"As you can see from her own statement when the officials who were working at the prison at the time found out that she was indeed a woman and wanted to move her to the female section of the prison, she threatened to slit her wrists," Nxele said.
Nxele said that prison officials were revisiting Wilson's case following her claims.
Wilson is due to appear in court on 12 May for a case in which she is suing the Minister of Correctional Services for R100000 for what she has termed her "wrongful imprisonment".
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal deputy commissioner of correctional services Zeblon Monana said that nine prison officials, who are suspected to have helped eight dangerous awaiting trial prisoners to escape have been suspended.
He also refuted claims that the prisoners used a map of the prison - downloaded from the Internet - to escape.