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Hang-man phase out burdens prison officers

MPHO MOKWAPE
Jail guards also perfom duties of hangman
Lack of interest in the hangman’s job have reportedly led to the phasing out of vacancy resulting in prison officers being the ones to carry out the sordid act of executing convicts.

The Public Accounts Committee yesterday learnt that the vacancy for the hangman longer existed as it was phased out due to no one applying for the job.

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security, Segakweng Tsiane told the committee that there was no reason to continue with the vacancy as no one showed interest.

“The vacancy has been non existent for some time now as there was lack of interest for it, the prison officers are now tasked with the job” he said. Tsiane however said they would reconsider having the post again provided there was interest for the job.

She was responding to a question posed by the committee member, Polson Majaga who had wanted to know if there was any such post.

Earlier on committee member and Selebi-Phikwe West legislator, Dithapelo Keorapetse had grilled the ministry about the officers who carry the executions.

Keorapetse had questioned whether the officials were aware that prison officials are left the burden of execution that has emotional repercussions on them.

“I just want to know if there is adequate counselling given to the officers and the procedure used prior to execution,” he asked.

To which the deputy commissioner for Prisons, Keneilwe Bogosing said there was counseling provided to the officers prior to execution.

She explained that there is always pre and post counselling given to the officers

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provided by private entities.

Bogosing however requested not to divulge more information in relation to what transpires prior to execution, of which the committee chair excused her from doing so.

Moreover on the problems besieging the prisons services, the deputy commissioner admitted that they were isolated cases of involuntary and voluntary sex between men.

She explained that most of the voluntary ones never comes to their attention probably because of that it was consensual while the involuntary ones they often take the necessary steps and actions.

“We know there are men who have sex with other men but its often isolated cases. Where there is involuntary engagement we often take such people to the police where they deal with it,” she said. Bogosing however said she was not aware of any study that was carried about the issue, as the report was never shared with them as prison officials.

Keorapetse had wanted to know why there was still difficult to provide condoms in prisons when they are aware what was happening inside which was even escalating the HIV.

“The reason why there is an increase in HIV cases is because the prisons and the ministry does not want to acknowledge that there is sex in prison. NACA had even carried a study about the same issue,” he said.



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