with Thozama Mqikela
I will always say this from now onwards. People take their lives for granted and do not fully appreciate the lives that they live. The moment I got there my heart sank. Prison is full of poor people that for one reason or the other were imprisoned by rich people. DO you know how rich lawyers are let alone judges? Have you ever considered that once you are poor guilty or not, if you are accused of a crime you probably will not win. You simply do not have the resources to fight the system so forget getting a so called good lawyers. all the people had a story to tell and yes I was one of them at this moment but I knew I would be going home to a cosy home. I got to the entrance and there was already a whole lot of people there.
I followed the sign that pointed to Visitors and drove that side. I got out and saw a prison warder in brown uniform. You could tell now that this was serious as these were unlike the Hillbrow cops. In Hillbrow everyone had been dressed in blue uniform, in this place the prison warders were wearing the brown uniform. I approached the one who was walking up and down assisting people who seemed confused. I told him I was visiting a prisoner and didn’t exactly know the procedure he told me to leave my bag and phone in the car and only take my id and the food that I had brought for the person I was visiting. At least they were allowed food in this place I thought, he asked if I had a transparent plastic bag to put in the food I told him I didn’t and he pointed me to a tuck-shop where I could buy a bag for R5 and also told me I need to go to an office next to the tuck-shop to give the prison warders there the details of the person I was visiting. I proceeded to the tuck-shop there were people buying dinks and sweets and to them this seemed normal. In fact others knew each other from previous months they kept asking each other about how their “prisoners” case was going and they were all chatty and didn’t seem as stressed as I was. I bought 4 plastic bags and went to the next room where there were two prison warders writing down names. I gave them my name and id and told them who I was visiting. They gave me a small paper with my name on it and my id number and Mthobisi’s name and a number, they gave me my id back. I went outside and there are chair outside, I sat there and put Mthobisi’s food in the plastic bag. I removed the cigarettes from all 10 boxes and also put them on 1 of the plastic bag, removed the sweets and chappies also place them in their own bag, this was just so unnecessary but I could not complain everyone else was doing it so who was I to complain.
After I was done I went inside what looked like a waiting room, there was a female prison warder giving all the visitors instructions of what we should do and what was not allowed in prison etc, no one was really paying attention to her I think I must have been the only one paying attention, I wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t want to see myself locked up in this place for breaking a small stupid rule. Eventually they started calling people based on their numbers, luckily for me they were starting with people that were visiting prisoners awaiting trail so I got to go with the first batch of people but there was a whole lot of us about 50, we went through a gate where there was a male and female prison warder the female prisoner was searching females and checking that all food and everything else that you brought was in a see-through bag, if not in a bag you were told to leave it at the entrance and you will get it when you come out, a lot of people had to leave their stuff behind and thank goodness none of my things were rejected, I got past the gate and I’m expecting to see my husband to my surprise there is a bus waiting for us, we were told to get in the bus, I never knew Sun City Prison was so big, it even has roads it’s like a huge complex except most of the residents are dressed in Orange. The first stop the bus made we were told it’s for Female Prisoners awaiting trail so everybody who was visiting a female got of which was about half of the people in the bus, damn I could not imagine what must be going through those women’s minds being stuck behind those huge walls, I actually felt sorry for them even though I didn’t know them and realised that I might be going through all this but at least I was not in jail. No matter how bad things look when you look at other people’s problem and compare them to yours you start seeing how little your problems are especially when those people’s problem is being stuck behind bars.
Eventually we got to the Male side this was a long ride and I was getting anxious I wanted to get this over and done with, I really did not like being at this place. We had to sit in the waiting room and people’s names were called out, they actually called the name of the person you are visiting and from there 2 more prison warders were checking the food again to see that no illegal substances were brought in. Some people had put money inside cigarettes; going to visit in prison will make you see things that you never thought existed. There was a lady who brought Pap, the warders poked the pap and found that she had put a knife inside the pap, she was taken away with her pap. Mthobisi’s name was called I walked to the next building with my package. All the prisoners that had visitors were put in one big room with windows all around, I spotted Mthobisi, there were more prison warders behind the counter and they asked if I can spot the person I’m visiting, I pointed them at Mthobisi, they took the food gave it to him, Mthobisi pointed me to a window at a far-end. I sat down across him awe were separated by a window and he told me to press the button at the window when I speak coz it has a speaker and that’s how I will be able to hear him. I actually didn’t know where to start, Mthobisi started by saying “I love you Lee” he told me how much he missed. I asked him what his plan was, he told me I should not worry because he was going to get out come hell or high water he will be out of this place. He told me he was making progress and things were looking good so on Wednesday he would definitely be coming out, I reminded him that he had said that before, he just laughed it off. I told him I did not sign off to be a “Prisoners Wife” and I was not going to stand for this and if he planned to make this prison visits he should just know I will not be part of it, I made it clear that this was a first and a last time that I would set foot in this place, I know at this moment I sounded selfish but I was feed-up, I had had enough. Mthobisi assured me that this was the first and last time he was ever going to put me through this. We chatted a bit about the family then the prison warder came and told us that the time was up and they were switching off the speakers. Mthobisi told me that he would call me to check if I arrived safe, I left and waiting for the bus to take us back to the entrance. Got back into my car and drove to my sister’s place I felt so tired it must have been the ups and downs of prison, I was feeling depressed and my sister was in a chatty mood and I was not I told her I had a headache and I wanted to take a nap. I must have slept throughout the day coz it was dark when I got up, I was woken by the most terrible cramps in my stomach, I actually screamed out from the pains. I tried getting out of bed but with every move I made the cramps just got worse, what the hell was wrong with me, I started thinking that maybe it’s hunger cramps since I had not eaten all day.
I decided to go to the kitchen I’m sure my sister must have made so delicious dinner made, I got up as soon as my feet touched the floor the cramps were unbearable I could not even stand I fell on the floor while lying on the floor I could feel something was wrong with me I just didn’t know what, my pants felt cold I touched them thinking I must have fallen in water, I brought my hand close to my face, my hand had blood, had I fallen on top of blood???? I passed out!!!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Hey ma name is hlatsi n m doing ma last year @ skul n ma bf is doing his 2nd year. I got pregnant last year november n in december I found out he was cheating then he apologised said it was a mistake I then forgave him … Ok we r in a long distance relationship january I went back to school every month I came by to see him buh I recently found out he was still seeing that girl ,u know being pregnant n cheated on … I felt as though ma life is coming to its end,I den burned his bag n torn his shirts n underwears … I still love him I don’t wanna be a single parent buh I feel betrayed now I’m in a open relationship with him buh I’m not okay with it… I just need advice gore ke direng since kemo rata n kele preg