We're not in the business of torturing inmates - correctional services

Karabo Ngoepe, News24

Pretoria- The Department of Correctional Services has refuted claims that inmates have been tortured and treated inhumanely by officials at the Kgosi Mampuri II prison in Pretoria.

"We are not in the business of torturing inmates, we are in the business of rehabilitating them," acting Gauteng commissioner Mandla Mkabela said.

He said allegations were made against officials and the proper channels were followed in order to address those allegations. Mkabela maintained that the department was not advocating or permitting torture by officials.

The allegations arose when Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) called for an investigation after sending a letter detailing incidents of abuse against 16 inmates at the hands of correctional services officials - who apparently call themselves "Boko Haram" - to the station commander of the Pretoria Central police station.

Some of the inmates were witnesses to the alleged murder of another inmate, Ricky Mokoena, by officials. The inmate, who was allegedly assaulted by the officials, died in July last year.

"When there are allegations made, we investigate in order to get the facts. We instituted an investigation into the conduct of our officials. At the present moment the preliminary report is available and I hope by next week the final report will be available," said Mkabela.

"The investigation is finalised when a decision has been made as to the recommendations and what needs to happen against the people who have transgressed the rules of the department. Torture is not something that we tolerate. We actually condemn it."

Mkabela said the recommendations that will accompany the report would guide them on how to proceed.

Source http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/were-not-in-the-business-of-tortu...