Yengeni said to be living high life inside

Date: 05 Sep 2006
Prisoners at Malmesbury Prison in the Western Cape are up in arms about the "preferential treatment" being afforded one of their fellow convicts, Tony Yengeni. Following numerous complaints from behind the prison walls, the South African Prisoners' Organisation for Human Rights (Sapohr) claims that the convicted former ANC member of parliament could be receiving "excessively five-star preferential treatment". In a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday, Sapohr president Golden Miles Bhudu said his office had been inundated with calls from prisoners at Malmesbury claiming Yengeni was being treated differently to other convicts. "Sapohr is outraged, but not surprised by reports that Yengeni is treated as if he is on vacation on some island," Bhudu said, questioning why Yengeni was kept at a hospital ward instead of in a normal prison cell. "A new double bed, big-screen TV, different kind of foods, and regular visits from his wife are some of the acts that disregard regulations," Bhudu said. He said that unless the government and the ANC in particular condemned Yengeni's alleged preferential treatment, the clause in the constitution that everyone is equal before the law would remain a myth. Bhudu called on Sapohr members to condemn Yengeni's alleged preferential treatment by picketing and demonstrating at various prisons if the local authorities did not respond to complaints within seven days. The head of Malmesbury Prison, Sipho Nyambi, dismissed allegations of preferential treatment, but conceded that Yengeni was being kept at a hospital ward for safety reasons. By Lebogang Seale href="" target="_blank"> The Star 05/09/06