A South African prison run by the British security company G4S is under investigation for allegedly using forced injections and electric shock treatment to subdue inmates.
Prisoners, warders and health care workers said that involuntary medication was regularly practised at the Mangaung Correctional Centre near Bloemfontein. G4S denies any acts of assault or torture.
The revelations come just weeks after the South African government took over operations from G4S after finding it had “lost effective control over the prison” in the wake of a series of stabbings, riots, strikes and a hostage taking.
The latest allegations follow a year-long investigation by the Wits Justice Project (WJP) – part of the journalism department of the University of Witwatersrand – which uncovered damning video evidence apparently showing forced medication. A staff member at the prison hospital, who did not wish to be named, alleged that inmates were injected with Clopixol Depot, Risperdal, Etomine and Modecate. These anti-psychotic drugs can cause memory loss, muscle rigidity, strokes and other serious, potentially life-threatening side effects.
A video shot on 24 May by the prison’s emergency security team (EST), which is legally required to film all its actions, shows inmate Bheki Dlamini being injected involuntarily. “I am not a donkey,” Dlamini protests loudly, yelling: “No, no, no,” while five men grab him, twist his arms behind his back and drag him to a room where they wrestle him on a bed and a nurse is called.[Full story]