News

Oscar Pistorius on suicide watch

2016-08-14 07:08

Oscar Pistorius was placed on suicide watch this week after sustaining severe wrist injuries in jail that saw him rushed to Pretoria’s Kalafong Hospital last weekend.

However, the mystery surrounding the case has deepened, with three senior prison sources also confirming to City Press that Pistorius had laid a complaint of attempted murder against prison nurses three weeks ago.

Shortly after he was returned to Kgosi Mampuru II Prison, Pistorius made a formal complaint to prison management in which he alleged that three prison nurses were trying to kill him by giving him medication he insisted was “toxic”.

The senior correctional services sources told City Press this week that Pistorius refused to take any medication offered by those prison nurses and insisted on only being given medication that had been prescribed by his private doctor.

One of the senior correctional services sources said the Paralympian “was very upset and had requested to see police officers in a bid to open a criminal case”.

Pistorius, he said, had also asked to be transferred to Zonderwater Prison, east of Pretoria, a request that was denied.

“He was supposed to meet them last Friday, but it appears the officials did not process his request to meet police officers,” the source said.

The very next day, Pistorius was rushed to hospital with severe injuries to his wrists. He told prison officials that he had fallen out of bed and injured himself.

An inmate told City Press that Pistorius had injured himself intentionally.

And two warders with knowledge of the hospital section said razor blades were subsequently found in Pistorius’ cell during a search last Saturday afternoon.

The three senior prison sources told City Press that Pistorius was now on suicide watch in prison, which entails 24-hour monitoring and increased visits by warders to his cell.

Pistorius’ brother Carl, however, denied after a visit to the prison last Sunday that Pistorius had attempted suicide, saying that he slipped in his cell.

“I know that there are reports saying that he tried to injure himself – they [are] completely untrue and sensational,” he tweeted.

“He slipped in his cell and injured himself, [it is] nothing serious.”

Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo told City Press this week that his department would not be making any public comment before their investigations had been completed.

“Our internal investigation is at an advanced stage. Our response will be guided by the findings of the investigation,” he said.

The investigation now includes whether Pistorius had in fact attempted suicide, as well as the discovery of razor blades in his cell.

The investigation was started shortly after Pistorius was returned to the prison, after warders raided his cell and allegedly found a pair of scissors, prescription drugs and “toxic pills” hidden inside it.

Warders and an inmate told City Press that prison authorities began to fear he was going to harm the prison’s health manager and professional nurse, Charlotte Mashobane, who testified against him at his sentencing proceedings.

“They found a pair of scissors, [prescription] drugs and six antidepression pills hidden in his cell,” said the inmate.

The information was also contained in Pistorius’ prison journal, in which all incidents involving the prisoner are recorded.

This week, four correctional services officials said that on Monday, after City Press broke the news of Pistorius’ hospital drama, several nurses and other inmates were hastily transferred to other prisons after being suspected of leaking the information.

“Some nurses and inmates have now been transferred to Pretoria Central correctional services offices, while others have been transferred to Leeuwkop Prison,” said one of the warders.

Nxumalo confirmed the transfers, but denied they were linked to the information leaks.

“That was a routine exercise and personal circumstances were taken into account,” he said.

November 18 2018