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Durban - The brother of slain awaiting-trial prisoner Bongani Makhubu wants the warders at Westville Prison who allegedly beat him to death to be arrested.
“It is their job to guard the prisoners, not kill them,” said Malusi Makhubu when The Mercury visited him at his home in Chesterville on Sunday.
It is alleged that eight warders assaulted and killed Bongani, 27, last month after he stabbed two fellow prisoners in the mess hall at breakfast.
News of his death was revealed to Parliament’s correctional services oversight committee by Adam Carelse of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services last week.
The warders were reportedly suspended, but, as of Sunday, no arrests had been made.
Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said the case was “still under investigation”.
Bongani, who did odd jobs, was arrested in October for burglary.
He appeared in court and was remanded. He died before standing trial.
“How did this happen?” asked his brother.
“If he did something wrong they should have locked him up by himself or not allowed him visitors for a few months. They cannot just kill people.”
The brothers had different mothers but were very close as children.
We used to live here with our grandfather, but he died many years ago and then it was just the two of us.”
Makhubu said Bongani was “a party guy” and had a daughter of three. “She misses her dad,” he said.
Makhubu had not been able to visit his brother in prison.
“I was working,” he said, “But I planned to visit.”
“A friend told me what had happened while I was at work, but I did not believe it at first,” he said.
“So I asked another friend and he told me that, yes, my brother had died in prison.”
I cannot explain how I feel - it is so hard.
“When I come home from work and I look in his room, he is not there.”
Bongani was buried in the Chesterville Cemetery.