Pollsmoor detainees speak out about deplorable conditions

During his four months in the remand section at Pollsmoor Prison last year, Mvelisi Sitokisi was not only forced to default on his antiretroviral (ARV) medication, but also contracted tuberculosis (TB).

“I suffered inside those cells. My mattress was dirty and because I wasn’t a gangster, I couldn’t go up to the wardens to ask for help. If you did that, then they would beat you up,” Sitokisi said.

Sitokisi is one of eight current and former detainees as well as a few staff members who are deponents in the matter against the Department of Correctional Services.

In December last year, Sonke Gender Justice and Lawyers For Human Rights launched an application in the Western Cape High Court, challenging the “deplorable” conditions for staff and detainees inside the facility.

Read the full article on Ground Up here.