Fishrot accused, other inmates 'safe from Covid-19'

11 June 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Windhoek Central Correctional Facility head, Deputy Commissioner Manfred Jatamunua, says the Fishrot accused and other inmates are safe from the coronavirus pandemic.

Testifying yesterday under cross-examination during the bail application of suspended Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, Jatamunua said the prison has done its best to ensure the virus is not introduced from outside the facility.

He mentioned specifically that the section where Nghipunya is housed is isolated from the general population. His section is meant to house 34 offenders, but only 11 prisoners were currently being held there. Jatamunua added that visits had been suspended to prevent the spread of the virus. According to him, anyone entering the prison is subject to mandatory thermal screening, accompanied by sanitation measures.

“Before you enter, there is a tippy tap where you wash your hands and you step with your feet into chloride for sanitation. Officers wear masks and are also issued with hand sanitiser.



Isolation unit

Jatamunua said there is an isolation unit where suspects and offenders are placed for 14 days before they are allowed to mix with the general population.

He added there is a specialised isolation area for suspected positive coronavirus cases, should any occur.

“Our belief is that the virus is outside and our measures are to prevent the virus coming in,” he added.



Studying possible

Jatamunua said the prison has dedicated facilities for suspects and offenders to pursue their studies.

Nghipunya is currently enrolled for a post-graduate programme with the University of Liverpool.

“When there is a suspect who needs to study, we facilitate to make sure that they can study.”

Jatamunua added there had been no request made by Nghipunya to study.

“The only request was for supplements because he exercises and experiences pain,” he said.

Nghipunya's bail application will resume on 16 June.

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