Picture by:Dumisani Dube


He is serving a 25-year jail term since 2010.

In his attempt to mend his wayward ways he even enrolled as an Abet student and passed his matric in 2015.

But since 2013 he’s been struggling to get his private television set, which was confiscated by the prison officials when they realized that the license had expired.

Instead, he alleges, he was given an old TV set which is not the one which was taken by the officials.

So says Mutacate Cossa, who further alleges that he is been victimized for standing up for his rights.

Cossa’s woes started in 2013 when he requested to be transferred from Sun City’s medium B to medium C section.

He said the facility’s officials told him he could not be allowed to enter with it into the centre because the license had expired.

After a few months he was able to apply for a new TV license and obtain it.
But when he asked the officials about his TV set, he was given an “old” one which was not his.

Cossa says he registered a complaint with the then head of internal security a Mr Thabiso Ndlovu who promised to investigate the matter.

Five years later, Ndlovu is still to report about his so-called investigation.

“I never got any feedback not did I get my TV set back,” said a frustrated Cossa.

Spokesman for the Gaauteng department of correctional services Mothapo Monama confirmed that Cossa’s TV set was indeed taken from him when the officials realized his license had expired.

He said the TV set was kept in the “security office’s safe room and it is where it remains”.

The news had come as a big surprise for Cossa, who says since he’s been making a noise about his TV set he ended up being transferred in May this year to first to Krugersdorp and later the Klerksdorp Correctional Facility where he is being kept currently.

“It is shocking that now that I have been transferred from Sun City then suddenly my TV set is there.

“There is something is fishy,’ he said.

Cossa added that despite his application for a transfer to the Leeuwkop Facility which supports distance learning, his pleas fell on deaf ears.

Added to his misery is that he sees the move to Klerksdorp as an “infringement” on his basic human rights to education, especially since the facility is far from his family and support structure which he says will hinder his rehabilitation process – a fundamental mandate of the department of correctional services.

He said his experience merely indicated the utter disrespect and disregard of human rights by correctional services officials who are supposed to be custodians of justice.

Department spokesman Monama said they were aware that Cossa says the TV set in their possession is not the same one he gave to the officials initially, even if it looks the same.

“We take very seriously this allegation by the inmate and we will duly investigate,” he said.

Explaining rules regulated the possession of a TV set for inmates, Monama said in terms of departmental policies offenders are allowed to be in a possession of a private TV.

“However, there are conditions and rules that are attached to that privilege due to security reasons.

“As a department we strive to ensure the rehabilitation of our offenders through a secure and safe custody.

“Anyone who is found to have engaged in unlawful activities will have to deal with the law,’ said Monama.

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