In South Africa, crime statistics for domestic violence, rape and femicide are through the roof. The crime rate for women as perpetrators, on the other hand, is very low. Only approximately 4000 women, a mere 2.6 % of the total prison population, are behind bars.
In November, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) launched its report on police brutality during the 2015 and 2016 #FeesMustFall (FMF) protests, titled A Double Harm: Police Misuse of Force and Barriers to Necessary Health Care Services. The report documents use of force by police during the FMF protests at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits). It reveals that police used excessive force during the protests which resulted in varyingly serious injuries. By SUMEYA GASA.
Ruth Hopkins's second piece in her four part series on women in prison. She spoke to women incarcerated in Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town and Johannesburg Correctional Centre about how they ended up in prison and how they survive behind bars. This is one of their stories.
When women and crime end up in the same headline in South Africa, it usually concerns women who are victims of domestic violence and rape. But women also commit crimes and end up serving time in prison. WJP senior journalist Ruth Hopkins' first piece in her four part series on women in prison. She spoke to women incarcerated in Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town and Johannesburg Correctional Centre about how they ended up in prison and how they survive behind bars.
In 1992 two men were jailed for 19 years for a violent crime they did not commit. This year they confronted the security policeman who had them arrested
The line between legitimacy and vigilantism has been blurred as prisoners accuse the fear free life group, established to alleviate drugs and gangsterism in prisons, of allegedly operating much like a gang in some Gauteng prisons.
The Wits Justice Project (WJP) spoke to two activists who were tortured during apartheid and to two people who were victims of torture after 1994. Their stories are chillingly similar and point to a continuing and systemic indifference to this very grave human rights violation.
When Dineo Kgatle walked out of Baviaanspoort prison into the purple haze of a hot Tshwane day a year ago, he had two things on his mind: caring for his elderly mother, and suing the State for his wrongful arrest and the traumatic 26 months he had just spent behind bars.
Victims of domestic and intimate partner violence such as Reeva Steenkamp and Karabo Mokoena grab headlines and trigger protests, but the women who stay alive by killing their abusive partners in self-defence are forgotten and misunderstood.
In March, Kgolofelu Khoza was allegedly chained in a crouching position to a door in an isolation unit – also known as the “bomb cells” – at Johannesburg Correctional Centre. He claims he was kept there for two days and a night.