Inmate in court after Goedemoed murder, rape

A convicted serial rapist and murderer, who now stands accused of murdering a prison warder and raping her colleague in March this year, is appearing before the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein on Thursday.

On Tuesday the inmate, Jongikhaya SamSam (37), appeared in court and claimed that a suspended correctional services official allegedly coerced him to commit the crimes.

The murdered correctional services officer, Nomsa Joyce Stuurman (35), was brutally murdered in an office at the Goedemoed Medium Correctional Centre close to Aliwal North. After stabbing Stuurman in the neck, the inmate, who was serving two life sentences, held her 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 and after a report by the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) about human rights violations that may have exacerbated the attack on 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.

According to Dispatch Live, the South African Correctional Officers Services Workers Union’s general secretary, Belinda Rathebe, had said the incident was a direct result of the shortage in personnel.

“Two females and one male were on duty in a section with more than 200 offenders, not by default but by staff shortage considering the offender official ratio of 1:30,” Rathebe said.

In August Justice Minister Ronald Lamola unveiled a wall of remembrance in honour of Stuurman. He said the gathering in her honour was taking place under a very dark cloud.

He said that a maximum sentence should be introduced against the perpetrator who also raped Stuurman’s colleague during the heinous crime.

Lamola said the killing of Stuurman called for all officials to now, more than ever before, prioritise conditions of employment of female officials who face enormous challenges at centres across the country and in society.