CRITICAL BREAKDOWN – PART TWO

Following Special Assignment’s March expose of a desperately sick inmate languishing in Johannesburg prison, that prisoner has since died inside jail. In this week’s episode we investigate why prison authorities allowed this to happen.

Lungisa Livingstone Jadula was a sick inmate inside Johannesburg Prison’s Medium B-section, whose lawyer, Austin Okeke, said a part of his colon was removed without his knowledge or consent in 2010. This is after he was allegedly struggling for almost a year to receive proper medical treatment for painful hemorrhoids. He was eventually sent to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto where the operation was done but the remainder of his colon was left hanging outside of his body.

He was sent back to prison where authorities kept him in a communal prison cell where he had to live with his colon hanging outside his body, fighting off deadly infections in an overcrowded, unsanitary environment. The Department of Correctional Service’s Deputy Commissioner for Health Care, Maria Mabena, undertook to urgently consider moving Lungisa to a single cell and assess his medical treatment plan. However, despite this undertaking, he was kept in a communal cell until the end.

The deceased prisoner’s family says in the last month of his life, they lost contact with him but during this time, prison authorities failed to inform them that Lungisa was critically ill. Ironically he was due for release on 30 April after serving fifteen years of his sentence behind bars.

What happened in the last two months since Special Assignment brought Lungisa’s desperate situation to the Prison authorities’ attention and why did his applications for medical parole fail, despite legal provision for the release of critically sick inmates?

Watch Critical Breakdown, Part Two produced by Adel van Niekerk on Sunday at 21h30, SABC 3.