Cape Town - After several delays and postponements, arguments by Sonke Gender Justice and Lawyers for Human Rights for greater oversight from the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) will be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.
Zia Wasserman, national prison co-ordinator for Sonke Gender Justice, said according to constitutional interpretation, the State had a duty to create a sufficiently independent and effective prison inspectorate.
“This litigation is a measure of last resort that follows years of unsuccessful engagement with the Department of Correctional Services by civil society organisations. We believe that the court case is a positive step in remedying the legislative deficiencies plaguing JICS’s efficacy in order to ultimately protect the rights of detained persons in South Africa.”
Conditions and especially the gang nature inside prison was earlier this week highlighted by two accused who were testifying in a murder and attempted murder trial heard in the Western Cape High Court.
One of the two, a 29-year-old who is also a member of the 28s prison gang, said in his testimony that inmates who do not belong to gangs inside prison ran the risk of being continually assaulted or raped.