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Section27 welcomes ConCourt ruling

The ruling of the Constitutional Court in a TB case will have a major impact to all prisoners.

The ruling of the Constitutional Court in a TB case will have a major impact to all prisoners.

CAPE TOWN - Section27 on Wednesday welcomed the Constitutional Court's ruling which found that the state is liable to pay a former inmate damages for contracting tuberculosis (TB) in prison.

Dudley Lee sued the Correctional Services Department after he contracted the disease while at Pollsmoor Prison.

He had spent four year awaiting trial on fraud charges counterfeiting and money laundering.

In 2004, he was acquitted of the charges against him and released.

On Tuesday the Constitutional Court found that it was the government's responsibility to house prisoners in conditions consistent with human dignity.

Section27 acted as a friend of the court in the matter.

Legal researcher John Stephens said, "It is good for Dudley Lee but not only him, but a lot of people who are in positions like him. This will have a huge impact on prisoners who are infected with TB and we know there are lot of them.

This judgment should also have a positive impact on public health more broadly."

South Africa has one of the highest incidence rates of TB in the world.

TB is the number one cause of death of South Africans.

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