Man sues State for gang-rape in remand detention

A prison sentence should not be a sentence to sexual abuse, says attorney Jonathan Cohen (Photo: Huffington Post)

A prison sentence should not be a sentence to sexual abuse, says attorney Jonathan Cohen (Photo: Huffington Post)

A Western Cape man is suing the State for R1.7 million in damages after he was allegedly gang-raped and infected with HIV during his first night in remand detention.

According to The Star, the 41-year-old claims he was deliberately placed in a cell with members of the 28s gang at the Allendale Correctional Institution in Paarl in October 1999.

The Department of Correctional Services denied the allegations in papers before the Western Cape High Court, saying inmates who were not gang members were not put in the same cells as those who were.

Jonathan Cohen, the plaintiff’s attorney, told the Cape Times that the case was important because it might force DCS to take action against sexual violence. “When someone is sentenced to a prison term it does not mean they’re also sentenced to sexual abuse,” Cohen said.

Related articles

“Sexual assault in jail is common and brutal”, an indepth article on prison rape by  Ilham Rawoot of the Mail & Guardian.

“Gang Members’ Experiences of Victimization and Perpetration of Rape in Prison”, an eye-opening mini-dissertation by Lizelle Albertse, who discusses the origins and functioning of prison gangs including the 28s and the phenomenon of prison rape.

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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