Prisoner takes on Minister over laptop access
Mbalenhle Nkosi, an inmate at Johannesburg Medium C Correctional Facility, has taken the head of the prison, the National Commissioner and the Minister of Correctional Services to court over the prison denying him the use of his laptop.
He has accused the authorities of 'infringing on his right to further education' by restricting his study time to when the computer room was open, GroundUp reports.
Nkosi is representing himself in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) where the case was postponed to give Nkosi time to study the prison's court papers.
'The (prison) seeks to unfairly, irrationally, unjustifiably and unconstitutionally limit my basic right to education by limiting and unreasonably dictating the hours during which I am permitted to study,' Nkosi said in court papers.
'This, despite the fact that I am locked up in a single cell for prolonged periods without anything constructive to do in all of that time. This goes against the very fabric of rehabilitation, and is contra to me becoming a productive individual upon my reintegration into society.'
Nkosi is a registered student at Oxbridge Academy where he enrolled in a computer studies course in November 2017. When he was transferred to Johannesburg Medium C prison his laptop was confiscated upon arrival.
In e-mail correspondence between Gauteng Regional Commissioner of Correctional Services Thakane Grace Molatedi, and Nkosi's fianceé, Sandy Sibanyoni, Molatedi said:
'Due to security challenges of offenders utilising computers and laptops for other activities except for study purposes at most Correctional Centres, the offender cannot be allowed to have the computer in his cell but will be afforded an opportunity to use the computer room for study purposes.'
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