Prisoners guarantee Pistorius' safety

OCTOBER 17, 2014

Oscar Pistorius's safety in prison has been guaranteed by an unlikely source. Apparently prisoners serving at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, in Pretoria, to which Pistorius is likely to be sent should the Pretoria High Court sentence him to serve time in jail, said he needs not be afraid.

"People here are lovers not haters," one prisoner told The Times. "All Mr Pistorius need do is associate himself with positive people."

Several prisoners serving time at Kgosi Mampuru II yesterday said that Pistorius's fears about his wellbeing in prison were unwarranted.

One prisoner, serving 15 years for armed robbery and speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "It is his fame that will give him his protection ... that and whatever money he has to buy the necessaries. Bartering in prison is the game ... cigarettes and money. If you have or can get them, then you are fine."

He said the advice of prisoners - who had been watching the trial on mobile satellite-TV devices - was that Pistorius should associate with the "right people".

"Associate with the right people, the lovers: those who see a future for themselves outside prison. Your protection through your fame is a definite. Everyone knows you.

"Pistorius will have people who clean and wash for him, do things for him," he said.

"The gangs will obviously try to protect him, make promises and offers, especially the senior members. Any cellphone he wants is his. A smart- phone, BlackBerry. It is already being organised. The airtime is there.

"He need not worry about his family, he can Skype with them any time. People in here are getting ready for him, organising things he might want or need.

"We will make sure he remains the fastest man in the world with no legs. People know Mr Pistorius is a no-go, off limits to any form of harm. Those protecting him will not hesitate to do what they must to ensure his protection, but this comes at a cost."

However, Golden Miles Bhudu, of the SA Prisoners' Organisation for Human Rights, said the protection Pistorius would receive in prison would cost him and his family.

"Those inside, including the warders, will run over themselves to protect and help him. In the end he will live like a king because of his fame and wealth."