S.African prisoner dies after media witness assault: report
A South African prisoner has died after warders assaulted him in an incident journalists witnessed at a maximum security jail, local media reported Friday.
Journalists saw guards beat the inmate while on a guided tour Wednesday with lawmakers at the Groenpunt jail in the central Free State province, where dozens of prisoners rioted last week.
He died hours after the attack, the province’s deputy prisons commissioner Grace Molatedi confirmed to the daily newspaper The Star.
A group of prisoners had launched an attack on a warder, and other officials stepped in to break up the fight, she said.
“They intervened and used necessary force to prevent the officers from further stabbing or possibly killing their own,” Molatedi told the paper.
“It was in the process of them using necessary force that the dead offender was injured,” she said.
According to her, three other inmates and a warder were wounded in the incident.
Prison officials detained the journalists, who managed to photograph the attack of the one inmate through a fence. They confiscated their cameras and mobile phones, and deleted all images, local media reported earlier.
A riot broke out last week at the prison, leaving dozens wounded as the rampaging inmates set their cells on fire in protest over conditions at the facility.
Prison officials did not answer phone calls on Friday.