Sandra Munsamy's 'kidnappers' demand showers and exercise at maximum security prison
Two of the four men accused of kidnapping Durban businesswoman Sandra Munsamy claim they have been denied showers and exercise at the maximum security prison where they are being detained.
The two South Africans and two Mozambicans appeared in the Durban magistrate's court on Wednesday, where the court heard about their alleged mistreatment at Ebongweni C-Max prison in Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal.
Former national director of public prosecutions, Mxolisi Nxasana, who represents the South Africans, said: “Since they arrived at Kokstad they have not been given access to taking showers or exercise.”
SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE reported that the department of correctional services (DCS), in a clandestine operation, transferred the accused from Westville prison to C-max.
Nxasana then made an application for the department to provide reasons as to why the legal representatives were not informed about the move, but on Wednesday abandoned it.
Magistrate Anand Maharaj said he understood that the accused were to be detained at Westville prison, and that the move was undertaken solely by DCS.
He told Nxasana that he would inform prison authorities about the accused's allegations of human rights violations.
Prosecutor Kuveshnie Pillay revealed that the accused intended to apply for bail, which the state opposes.
She said certain documents, such as the charge sheet and international warrants - in respect of the Mozambicans - would be furnished to the accused in preparation for their bail application.
She further detailed that the attorney of one of the Mozambicans had withdrawn from the case and that he was now unrepresented.
Gary Bell, representing the second Mozambican, said he wanted the matter to be finalised expeditiously.
Hawks investigating officers Stompie Sonnekus and Rajen Govender are expected to take the stand to provide an update on investigations and reasons why the accused should be denied bail.
Munsamy, a key figure in a multibillion-rand Crossmoor Transport family business empire, was allegedly snatched in a daylight kidnapping by armed men, setting in motion a hostage and ransom drama that lasted six months.
Hawks detectives found the KwaZulu-Natal businesswoman alive and shackled in a house in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, in November last year, 162 days after she disappeared.
The Hawks said Munsamy's captors had demanded a ransom of R140m.