The Law Society of South Africa (LSA) yesterday criticised the neighbouring country’s Correctional Services department for parading on State television Zimbabwean serial jail escapee Bongani Moyo.
Moyo and two others attempted to escape from prison on Wednesday.
Moyo, Themba Dube and Khumbulani Sibanda were on Wednesday shown on the South Africa Broadcast Corporation (SABC) at media briefing addressed by Correctional Services minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Moyo is awaiting trial on armed robbery charges as he stands accused of 35 bank and other robberies.
In a statement, the lawyers’ body said bringing the three to a media conference violated their basic human rights.
The law society said parading of the three “could be misconstrued by the public and encourage a culture of vigilantism.
“The public could be led to believe that offenders, awaiting trial or convicted, are not entitled to basic rights, including the right to dignity.”
LSA co-chairs Nano Matlala and Praveen Sham said Chapter 3 of the Correctional Services Act (1998) stipulates prisoners must be kept in custody under conditions of human dignity.
The minimum rights of prisoners entrenched in the Act may also not be violated or restricted for disciplinary or any other purposes.
The trio’s escape bid was foiled by a newspaper vendor who alerted authorities.