FS judge questions flaws in rehabilitation programme

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The Citizen
A visibly irritated and upset Free State High Court Judge president, Cagney Musi, questioned the effectiveness of the offender’s rehabilitation programme by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) on Thursday.

Musi questioned whether the department was poking the right holes in its effort to try and rehabilitate offenders with hopes of being integrated back into society. He said this during the trial of Jongikhaya Samsam (37) who appeared in court in Bloemfontein for the murder of DCS official Nomsa Joyce Stuurman (35), and the rape and kidnapping of another official (33) in March this year in the Goedemoed prison in the province.

This as the DCS official, Jimmy Lenong, gave a heartfelt testimony on the devastating impact this incident had on the entire community of the Correctional Facility Centre, in particular, female warders. Musi asked why was Samsam, who was already serving two life terms and previously had been charged with Grievous Bodily Harm (GBV) in 2016 and 2017, was let to work in that particular area at the time of the incident. Judge Musi subsequently sentenced Samsam to two life terms in prison for murder, rape and five years for kidnapping.

He said the department, in essence, put the lives of the women in danger by not acting swiftly after the two assault cases against Samsam. He told Lenong that the department should have realised that the accused was not a desirable person or candidate to be chosen as a cleaner for those offices where he killed Stuurman and raped her colleague. On Tuesday, during the beginning of the two-day trial, SamSam in his statement made damning allegations against a DCS official who is still suspended, alleging that he brought him new shoes and allegedly promised to pay him R100 000 if he would kill three of his colleagues.

The self-confessed chief leader of 26 gangs, however, made an admission that after his family indicated that they did not want him to return home, the deceased used to mock and taunt him about that. He alleges this led to him retaliating by killing her. The court again heard of the chilling evidence led by the state prosecutor, Moipone Moroka, of how Samsam slit Stuurman’s throat and afterwards took a smoke break, requesting time to pray but instead raping her colleague. He also held the pregnant colleague hostage but released her after four hours of intense negotiations. OFM News previously reported that the woman was since placed on special leave and was receiving counselling.

There were many questions following the gruesome incident after a report by the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) about human rights violations that may have exacerbated the attack on the two female warders.

It was also revealed that the prisoner, as an inmate serving time for murder, was not supposed to be in the area the incident took place.

OFM News/LUCKY NKUYANE