Inmate killed in argument over Liverpool, Man United match

13 February 2012 - 08:25
By Olebogeng Molatlhwa and Mcelwa Nchabeleng

TRAGEDY struck at Leeuwkop Maximum Prison in Johannesburg when an inmate killed another after an argument over a football-related incident.

Sowetan can today confirm that prisoner Justice Mazuwa murdered a fellow inmate yesterday morning after the two got into an argument, allegedly over Saturday's English Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United.

United defeated their arch rivals Liverpool 2-1 in a match that was played at Old Trafford, thanks to Wayne Rooney's brace.

It is understood that the pre-match scuffle between Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and United's Patrice Evra sparked the argument, eventually leading to Mazuwa killing the other inmate.

Suarez, who pulled one back for Liverpool, refused to shake Evra's hand before the match and this was followed by scuffles in the tunnel at half time.

Liverpool's Uruguayan attacker was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Evra in October.

Confirming yesterday's incident, Gauteng correctional services spokesman Ofentse Morwane said a probe had since been initiated to establish what led to the inmate's death.

"The immediate internal investigation that has been launched by the department (of correctional services) is aimed at establishing exactly the circumstances around what could have led to this unfortunate incident.

"Apart from our own internal investigation the matter has been referred to the SAPS and a criminal case has been opened," Morwane said.

Mazuwa is currently serving a 15-year jail term for murder and robbery, while his alleged victim - who cannot be named because his family has not yet been notified of his death - was serving 25 years for murder, robbery, rape and assault.

Mazuwa was not injured in the incident that took place in Unit D.

Clinical and forensic psychologist Ketso Moorosi said such incidents were bound to happen where "extremely bitter" people were placed under the same roof.

But Moorosi said such incidents can be avoided if the prisons management and the Department of Correctional Services can solicit assistance from psychologists.

"Inmates need to be taken through a process as part of their recovery by psychologist," Moorosi said yesterday.

"Some of the inmates are extremely bitter with themselves and life, after what they did in life brought them to jail, and they don't want to be bullied around in prisons. It is the responsibility of the authorities to engage relevant people to help them. They need to be helped to take responsibility of their actions."

Moorosi said people should understand that sports matches were full of emotion and that fans should learn to accept and respect the result of games.