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South Africa Probes Allegations of G4S Prison Staff Abuse

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Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services is investigating allegations that staff members of security company G4S Plc abused detainees at Mangaung prison, south of Johannesburg.

A report in Johannesburg-based newspaper Mail & Guardian on Oct. 25 said prisoners were forcibly injected with anti-psychotic medication, while electroshock therapy has been used to subdue and control offenders.

G4S staff members don’t have access to prisoner medication, nor can they administer it, the London-based company said in a statement on Oct. 28. The health and treatment of inmates are managed by a third-party medical center, it said.

“It is unfortunate that the media is pursuing a story based on unsubstantiated allegations from anonymous sources, disgruntled former employees and convicted criminals,” Andy Baker, regional president for G4S Africa, said in the statement.

The Department of Correctional Services took over management of operations at the prison on Oct. 9 after a video of prisoners being abused was leaked.

“We view these allegations in a very serious light,” Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said in a statement on Oct. 25. “We will leave no stone unturned in this investigation, in order to ensure that those implicated in such inhumane acts face the consequences of their action.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Amogelang Mbatha in Johannesburg at ambatha@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gordon Bell at gbell16@bloomberg.net

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