Commission finds prisoner’s rights were violated


 SABRINA DEAN – THE SAHRC says just because somebody has been convicted of a crime it doesn’t take away that person’s right to be treated like a human being.
Human Rights Commission spokesperson Isaac Mangena says an investigation into the state of affairs at Groenpunt Prison in Deneysville found that the prison head and correctional services regional commissioner for the Free State and Northern Cape had failed to address inmate complaints.
He says minimum standards, including access to health treatment, family visits, nutritional services, appropriate rehabilitation programmes and so forth were not being met.
"Prisoners have rights. Yes, they have been convicted of various bad crimes that they committed outside but that doesn’t take away the human element.  They have got rights, which include things like medical treatment and to be treated with diginity like you and I because they are still people,"  he says.
The SAHRC launched its investigation following riots there in January this year where 50 prisoners and four warders were injured.