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PE prison assault complaint lodged

Johannesburg - A complaint has been lodged with the SAHRC against the correctional services department's emergency security team (EST) for allegedly beating, electrocuting, and torturing inmates at the St Albans correctional centre in Port Elizabeth.

A St Albans inmate shows an injury to his torso. Credit: SUPPLIED

The EST allegedly searched about 200 inmates for contraband on the night of March 2 and 3, SA Human Rights Commission spokesman Isaac Mangena said on Thursday.

“This search led to the alleged mass-beatings, electric shock, and torture of inmates,” said Mangena.

A complaint was also lodged against the correctional centre in 2005, to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), after local mechanisms of accountability failed.

“This complaint alleged gross human rights abuses by state officials,” said Mangena.

South Africa ignored five requests by the UNHRC to respond to the allegation and it was subsequently found guilty of human rights violations.

“At present the official investigation by the South African authorities into the 2005 case is still not completed,” said Mangena.

“The SAHRC condemns action such as this, especially after the Prevention of Torture Act was passed, and after the UNHRC human rights violation verdict against South Africa,” he said. - Sapa

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