Shock over prison rape

COSATU in KwaZulu-Natal has expressed shock at reports that a Durban woman was locked up in the male section of Westville Prison for six months.

COSATU in KwaZulu-Natal has expressed shock at reports that a Durban woman was locked up in the male section of Westville Prison for six months.

"This is despicable to say the least. The act of the Department of Correctional Services officers, as alleged, cannot be condoned," Cosatu provincial secretary Zet Luzipho said yesterday.

The reaction follows Sowetan's report yesterday that Amaravathee Wilson was allegedly raped, sodomised and assaulted almost every day by the male prisoners.

She had been arrested in 2003 for armed robbery, attempted murder and hijacking.

The report quoted Wilson's lawyer, Shireen Soobrathi, as saying that she was seeking justice for her client, who was acquitted on all charges.

Soobrathi reportedly said Wilson was suing the minister of correctional services and that the matter would be heard in a magistrate's court because she was claiming R100000 in damages.

But the Department of Correctional Services said the matter was struck off the court roll in September last year.

Spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga said there was no case pending against the department lodged by Wilson.

According to the report, Wilson's calling name was Denise and prison officials had recorded her name as Denis. Her requests to be removed from the male cells had been ignored, it was reported.

Wilson and Soobrathi were not immediately available for comment on the department's claim that the matter was struck off the roll. - Sapa

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