Despite how careful and watchful prison wardens could be about the safety of the inmates, attacks can not be avoided. Most of the attacks usually lead to severe injuries or even death.
At the Mahwelereng Police Station holding cells, an awaiting-trial prisoner, 29 year-old Japhta Lekgoara was allegedly assaulted by fellow inmates who cut off both his ears and forced him to eat them.
This was revealed by the victim’s lawyer, Klaas Madlanato, who was extremely angry over the damage done to his client which he claimed happened right in front of police officers who did nothing to stop it.
Madlanato said he had visited his client for a consultation on Tuesday afternoon and was shocked at the excruciating pains he found him in.
“My worry is that the attack happened inside the police holding cells, where we believe [he] would be protected,” said Madlanato as he explained that his client told him how is fellow inmate used a razor blade to cut off his ears
He said the attack on criminals while they are still in custody was a clear evidence that they were not safe, “even in the hands of the police”.
“Lekgoara told me that while bleeding after his ears had fallen to the ground inside the cells, he was ordered to pick [them up] and swallow them, which he did in fear for his own life,” he added
The lawyer said he was still deciding on what course of action to take against the police and the attackers considering how the inmate was also severely assaulted with bruises all over his body.
Lekgoara was arrested in Pretoria on Saturday on two counts of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances and two charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was taken to Mahwelereng and appeared in the Mokerong Magistrate’s Court.
Acting commissioner at the Mahwelereng police station, Major Mapitsi Sekotlong, confirmed the incident saying: “As police we are not going to pursue the matter because the victim has refused to open a case against his attackers.”
She dded that police took Lekgoara to Mokopane Hospital for treatment after the attack and he is currently back in the police cells.
Mokopane Hospital spokesman Malose Seko also confirmed that Lekgoara was treated at the facility on Tuesday and discharged the same day.
“He was brought in by the police, bleeding and with both ears cut off. Medication was administered and he was discharged after the treatment.”