Court orders report on incidents in G4S-run prison to be made public
- Lee-Anne Bruce
Today the High Court granted us access to a report into incidents at G4S-run Mangaung Correctional Centre and ordered G4S and the state to pay our costs
The High Court today ordered the release of an investigative report into incidents at Mangaung Correctional Centre, run by private security company G4S. CALS requested access to the report held by the Department of Correctional Services after becoming aware of claims that people incarcerated at Mangaung had been tortured by security personnel. The Court not only granted our request, but ordered both G4S and the state to pay costs in the matter.
CALS appeared in the Pretoria High Court today for judgment granting us access to a report held by the Department of Correctional Services. In late 2013, CALS became aware of a number of complaints made public by the Wits Justice Project that people incarcerated at the G4S-run Mangaung Correctional Centre had been tortured by the private security company’s personnel. Following these reports and a number of other serious incidents at Mangaung, the Department of Correctional Services took control of the prison and began an investigation. Within ten months, the Department had concluded its investigation and handed control back to G4S.
Following this, CALS made a request to access information related to the investigation using the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). When this was refused, CALS approached the High Court for assistance in early 2015. After a number of delays by G4S, the matter was finally heard in December last year – a full five years after the initial access to information request had been submitted.
Today, Judge Rabie handed down judgment in the matter, granting our application and ordering the Department to release the full report to us within fifteen days. He further ordered the state to pay our costs and even made a special order as to costs against G4S for the court to “show its disapproval” at the manner in which they conducted this case.
“This judgment marks a victory for the right of access to information,” says Sithuthukile Mkhize, attorney at CALS. “It is also a caution to private companies who may try to frustrate court processes or ignore their constitutional obligations.”
For inquiries, please contact:
- Sithuthukile Mkhize on 011 717 8607 or at firstname.lastname@example.org