Terrifying torture devices

Palesa ‘Deejay’ Manaleng
This is pure torture”, at some point in our lives, most of us have used this phrase to express our dislike of something or another. Be it a television program, a meeting or –for the younger ones- a subject at school. And we go on about how much pain we are going through because of that certain thing or moment in life.
But do we really sit down and think what torture really is or do we carelessly throw that word around, every time we encounter a situation we don’t want to be in. Recently Czech businessman, Radovan Krejcir, who has been fighting an attempt by South African authorities to have him extradited to the Czech Republic, alleges he was tortured by SAPS.
His lawyers say Krejcir was electrocuted with a tazer gun. He was then forced onto his knees, had a plastic bag over his head and suffocated until he lost consciousness. He also allegedly suffered cuts to his wrists and forearms and burns from a chemical substance. Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega has referred the allegations to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) for investigation.
Different forms of torture have been used throughout history to extract false or true confessions from ‘wrongdoers/criminals’. The have been continuous articles published on torture, in South Africa (Mangaung) and around the world. Here are a few different methods of torture that have been used throughout history and some to date:

Death by burning
Deliberately causing death through the effects of combustion has a long history as a form of capital punishment. Many societies have used it as an execution method for such crimes as treason, heresay and witchcraft.

Fingernail torture device
This method of torture involves the extraction of the victim’s nail, often by forcing pliers, forceps or a tool built for the purpose under the nail. To make it more painful, the torturer sometimes heats the instruments the instrument until its red hot.

Coffin torture
The victim was placed inside the “coffin”. The period of time a victim was kept inside the “coffin” was determined by his or her crime. Serious crimes, like blasphemy were punished by death inside the “coffin” where the victim was kept inside under the sun with animals eating his or her flesh.

The breast ripper
Was used as a way to punish women, it was reserved for women accused of conducting a miscarriage or those accused of adultery. The claws were used either hot or cold on the victim’s exposed breasts. If the victim wasn’t killed she would be scarred for life as her breasts were literally torn apart.
knee splitter
The Knee splitter
A tool favoured by the Spanish Inquisition, it was a vice-like instrument with sharp spikes outfitted on both sides of the grip. As the torturer turned the handle, the claws slowly squeezed against each other mutilating and penetrating the skin and bones of the knee.


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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