3 June 2011
SABC TEAM SNEAK IN CAMERAS
SECURITY at the country’s correctional services (prisons) was exposed when SABC 3 crew members sneaked in with cameras to film and interview suspect terrorists.
The footage was aired on Wednesday night (1 June 2011) on SABC 3’s special assignment. The crew boasted on how they beat security to sneak in the hidden cameras to interview Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni who are languishing in jail after they were denied bail.
The two were seated with a warder, who was oblivious that the visitors to the suspects were recording all that took place. This glaringly exposed security at the correctional services institutions as the crew could have sneaked in anything.
“We managed to sneak in our hidden cameras into the Swazi prison where two political activists are kept. We interviewed them on their stay and the nature of the cases they are facing,” said one of the crew members in the preamble of the programme.
The two had also attempted to check on suspect bomber Amos Mbhedzi. However, the clip showed them being denied access by a warder at the Matsapha Correctional Services centre. “You are not among the list of people who can visit Mbhedzi,” said the warder in the clip.
The two terror suspects spoke of their chances of winning the case, claiming it was just a ploy by the state to taint them.
“I have been denied bail to go sit for my examinations. It got worse when I was given leave to sit for my examinations by the court only to be frustrated later on,” said Dlamini, who stands accused of carrying explosives.
The two were arrested after the failed April 12 protest action. Senators have called for detailed report on the protest action from Justice Minister David Matse to ascertain if human rights were not violated on the day.
The TV footage by the SABC crew shows warders leading the team to the cells of the two.
It also shows them sitting comfortable next to a warder with stack of foodstuffs that included bread and milk, among other things.
There was no immediate comment from the Correctional Services authorities on how the crew was allowed in with cameras. Cameras are barred from prisons. It remains to be seen what the authorities would do after this embarrassing scenario.
Mother missing Amos Mbhedzi
SUSPECT bomber Amos Mbhedzi’s mother is missing her son.
The suspect’s mother featured in the same SABC 3 Special Assignment programme that sneaked into prison with cameras to film and interview two suspect terrorists.
The crew also made a failed attempt to interview Mbhedzi in prison. However, they were denied access on grounds that they did not appear on the list of people allowed to visit the suspect bomber, whose case is at the closing stages.
He is accused of bombing the Lozitha Bridge. He is also charged with the murder of two others suspects he was with during the ill-fated exercise. Lawyer MJ Dlamini and Govender were killed in the blast. Mbhedzi is also facing a charge of remaining in the country illegally.
Speaking to the crew in South Africa, Mbhedzi’s mother said it pained her to know that her son was languishing in jail in a foreign country.
“I miss my son,” she told the crew. “There is a lot he used to help me while around. I doubt he committed the charges he is facing in Swaziland. I pray for the day when he would return home because we all miss him,” she said.
She was supported by her other children (Mbhedzi’s brothers) who said it was sad that they were allegedly denied access to see their brother.
“We went to Swaziland to visit our brother but were denied access by the warders. Actually, one of us was severely beaten for wearing a T-shirt printed ‘release Mbhedzi’. We are hurting by the treatment our brother has been subjected to in Swaziland,” they said.
Sipho Jele’s aunt weeps on SABC
SIPHO Jele’s aunt Juliet wept uncontrollable on SABC 3 when interviewed about the death of the political activists.
She told the Special Assignment crew that she was still bleeding after the loss of her relative. Jele was found to have committed suicide by an inquest.
“I am still hurting for the loss of my child.
I am keeping his clothes for memories. I feel bad that he was never hauled before any court of law to answer on whatever charges,” she said wiping a stream of tears on her face.
She took the crew to Jele’s house where she showed them the boots he was wearing on the day of his arrest.
“These are his boots,” she said.