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News

Stabbed prisoner wins negligence case against prison

A prisoner who was stabbed outside his cell is in line for a payout of up to R500‚000.

The correctional services department was negligent before Freddie Meyer was attacked at St Albans Prison‚ the Port Elizabeth High Court has ruled.

The damages payable to Meyer will be settled at a further hearing.

Fellow prisoner Lubabalo Singqotho admitted in court that he had a sharpened piece of metal‚ which he hid in his anus or a locker in his cell.

In November 2013‚ he returned from the dining hall to his cell‚ retrieved the metal and used it to stab Meyer several times on his left hand and his head.

Acting Judge Thembekile Malusi dismissed the evidence of long-serving warder Horrace Jordaan‚ who said it was impossible for a prisoner to leave the dining hall alone.

Jordaan also gave evidence about regular searches of prisoners and cells‚ but Malusi said: “It appears the warders are overstretched. They are unable to search every cell daily due to manpower constraints.

“Jordaan testified about what procedure entailed and not what practically transpired.”

* In March‚ a child rapist who escaped from St Albans allegedly raped and kidnapped a warder who lived on the premises. The following month video footage emerged of St Albans inmates smoking mandrax in an overcrowded cell.