A 30-year-old South African inmate who was arrested and charged for the brutal murder of a female prison warder at the Leeuwkop Correctional Centre, appeared in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 18 August 2021.

The body of 50-year-old Eunice Moloko was discovered at the Leeuwkop COVID-19 isolation site on 10 August. She was allegedly strangled and raped. According to reports, her family got worried when Moloko failed to show up home in the evening.

The man the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) believes is behind Moloko’s murder is Nigel Marais, who is currently serving time on a murder conviction.

“Marais was sentenced for a count of murder and another of attempted murder in November 2015 for an incident that happened in KwaZulu-Natal in 2014. He is currently serving 18 years imprisonment at the Leeuwkop Correctional facility, ”said NPA spokeperson Phindi Mjonondwane.

The case has been postponed to 26 August for further investigations.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) wants to know why the officer was individually booked at the COVID-19 isolation ward where inmates who have tested positive are kept.

“As per security policies, why did she not get security visits throughout the day? Why was she not relieved during the expected lunch time? And why was there no concern when she had not submitted the ward keys during the expected knock-off time?,” Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo asked.

Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa visited the prison after the murder and said the circumstances that led to Moloko’s death were being investigated.

“Investigations must continue so that no stone is left unturned in establishing facts that led to her death, and so that the alleged perpetrator of this gruesome deed can face the full might of the law. This will send a strong message that those who attack and kill our correctional officials will face the harshest punishment,” he said.

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