Wife’s court battle after prison beatingComment on this story
Johannesburg - Llewellyn Smith was brutally assaulted, stripped naked, shocked and tortured in the Leeuwkop Max C prison showers last week.
His wife Malanie had to go to court twice before she could get him privately examined and be permitted to lay charges against the warders with the SAPS.
Members of the prison’s emergency security team shocked and beat about 20 inmates before taking Smith and five cell mates to the showers for more torture.
Smith and his cellmates had barricaded their cell after their request to speak to the area commissioner - about previous beatings over a contraband cellphone - were ignored.
Malanie said: “Six inmates - including my husband - were taken to the offices, where they were beaten and told to lay on the floor as they took them out to the showers one by one. Here they were stripped naked and repeatedly shocked with ‘boards’ or electric shock shields.
“They were made to squat and after each shock the warders put their fingers up their anuses to search for contraband. Llewellyn told me he was the second last to go into the showers.
“He said the shower floors were full of faeces, which must have been from the other guys who were taken there before him… When you are shocked, it makes you defecate.”
Médecins sans Frontières’s (Doctors Without Borders) Dr Sindi van Zyl, who examined some of the injured inmates at Leeuwkop last Friday, said she was “absolutely shocked” at the brutality of the beatings.
“The four inmates I examined were all badly beaten, but the injuries on two of them indicated they had been severely assaulted.”
After being alerted to her husband’s beating, Malanie rushed to the prison, but was refused permission to see her husband by prison head Kgwadu Mohale.
Smith then contacted the Wits Justice Project, which helped her to secure pro bono lawyers to go to court.
Ten days after being ordered to do so, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services has still not sent Smith for x-rays, despite several letters from attorney Louise Bick.
Wits Justice Project