IPID to probe deadly prison truck bomb blast

Thirty-six awaiting trial prisoners were being transported from Randburg Magistrate's Court to the Johannesburg Correctional Services Facility in Naturena, south of Johannesburg, when a bomb exploded at the back of the police truck. Fifteen prisoners were injured.

A case of murder, possession of explosives and escape from lawful custody is being investigated.

According to the police, the driver heard a loud bang when he reached the corner of Naturena and the old Soweto Highway. He immediately noticed a hole in the rear door of the truck. Two prisoners were trying to flee. They were captured before the truck drove to the correctional service facility for safety reasons, said the police.

"All evidence at the scene has been collected and was sent to a forensic lab for analysis. Investigators are busy tracing and locating the next of kin of the deceased," said police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila.

Because the prisoners died while in police custody, the investigations will be led by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) with the help of the police. "We have assigned a team of investigators to assist the IPID," Malila told the Mail & Guardian.


Malila said the investigation is in its early stages and statements are being taken from the prisoners.

'Negligence'
In reaction to Monday's blast the South African Prisoners' Organisation for Human Rights (SAPOHR) said it holds the police, the justice department and the department of correctional services "accountable for their negligence".

SAPOHR president Golden Miles Bhudu said he believes the explosives were smuggled in at one of the three institutions.

"How can a bomb be smuggled from the court and taken to the holding cells and then into a police vehicle? But we are not surprised, you can smuggle anything in our courts and prison cells, there is no security. The department of correctional services, the police and the justice system should apologise to the bereaved families … They should also be compensated because of states negligence," said Bhudu.

"The judiciary should be sued and dragged screaming to the court to for what has happened," Bhudu told the Mail & Guardian.

SAPOHR plans to approach the Wits Law Clinic, the Lawyers for Human Rights and the Legal Resources Centre to advise those affected about their legal rights in the case.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Hundreds escape, 11 dead after DRC prison attack

More than 900 inmates are missing after armed assailants launched a coordinated attack on Kangwayi prison.

White paper promises changes for those awaiting trial

The white paper clarifies that awaiting-trial detainees may not be held in the South African Police Service cells after their first court appearance.

Strike in EC halts emergency services

A strike by emergency medical services employees has resulted in several areas of the Eastern Cape being left without state-owned ambulance services.

Tumi Trent Tladi: Showing Americans how it’s done

South Africa's export to American hip-hop dancing, Tumi Trent Tladi, is the first of our local talent to attract the world's top dance experts.

Akin Omotoso: From local to global

Actor and director Akin Omotoso is claiming a space for African film in the international film industry.

Deep fried funny man

Funny man Daniel Friedman, aka Deep Fried Man, brings a large dose of satire to his upcoming musical stand-up comedy show, "White Whine".
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Durban city manager says NPA erred in his bail conditions

The corruption-fraught metro is coming to grips with having a municipal manager who is on bail for graft, yet has returned to work

Why anti-corruption campaigns are bad for democracy

Such campaigns can draw attention to the widespread presence of the very behaviour they are trying to stamp out — and subconsciously encourage people to view it as appropriate

Tax, wage bill, debt, pandemic: Mboweni’s tightrope budget policy statement

The finance minister has to close the jaws of the hippo and he’s likely to do this by tightening the country’s belt, again.

SA justice delays extradition of paedophile to UK

Efforts to bring Lee Nigel Tucker to justice have spanned 16 years and his alleged victims have waited for 30 years
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday