Advocate Marumo Moerane, appearing for the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and the National Commissioner of Correctional Services, said the groups’ contention that the inspectorate lacked structural and operational independence was not correct.
“Sonke Gender Justice and Lawyers for Human Rights’ contention that the JICS (Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services), as presently constituted and mandated, lacks the necessary structural and operational independence and legal powers to discharge its functions effectively and to maintain credibility is not correct.
“They’ve failed to provide material facts necessary to sustain the conclusions made in this claim. We submit that the contention by Sonke that the JICS in its current form and structure is ineffective, compromised and has been captured by the department is incorrect.”
In papers Dean Peacock, executive director of the Sonke Gender Justice, said: “Nature and circumstances of incarceration mean prisoners are inherently vulnerable to the risk of violence of their fundamental human rights, such as dignity and freedom from violence, torture and degrading treatment.