FIRST ON EWN: Official ordered prisoner assaults

An internal investigation found that a Pretoria prison official ordered juniors to assault new offenders.

File: Inmates inside Pretoria Central Prison on 30 April 2012. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

PRETORIA - A week after Bloemfontein prison inmates went on a riot, protesting against conditions, Eyewitness News has learnt prison management ignored widespread abuse and assault against offenders at Pretoria Central Prison.

Eyewitness News has obtained an investigation report into an assault in July, which left one offender in hospital, and several others with serious injuries.

Despite an internal investigation team finding Pretoria Central Prison's deputy director Norman Mkwanazi guilty of orchestrating assaults on inmates, he received only a warning from a disciplinary committee.

An internal investigation found Mkwanazi ordered subordinates to assault offenders who had been misbehaving.

It was also established that Mkwanazi lied about an inmate being in possession of a homemade weapon to mislead the probe, and give the impression officials were protecting themselves.

It emerged the fight between inmates was over before Mkwanazi arrived in the section and that the assault was to punish the inmates.

Despite this damning evidence of lies and brutality, Mkwanazi received only a warning and remains on duty.

The Department of Correctional Services last week said it had prepared a response to questions, but said it would only release them on Monday.