Back! Due To Public Demand: Hell Hole (7 April 2009)

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Special Assignment on 06 Apr 2009
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Last week's episode of Special Assignment (that was on on Tuesday, 31 March) will be on again next Tuesday (7 April) owing to the response it received, both locally and internationally.

According to Special Assignement story editor Khadija Bradlow, the show has received an overwhelming response, including queries from people about what they can do to help.

The episode is being rebroadcast for anyone who missed it, as well to keep generating increased awareness and discussions about the situation.

Episode Title: Hell Hole
Date: Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Time: 20h31 (Please note: the show moves to this new timeslot as from 7 April).
Channel: SABC 3

For more info on all the changes coming up on SABC3 see April 2009 Info Pack.

The episode info ...


Special Assignment goes into Zimbabwe’s prisons - which have become virtual death traps for prisoners.

The episode features never-before-been-seen video images that were captured during an intense three month investigation, using the co-operation of officials within the Zimbabwean prison system.

The officials filmed day-to-day events inside prison on hidden cameras. The result is a grim picture of a huge humanitarian crisis within the penal system.

Inside, the show focuses on Brian Gumbo who is half way through his two year sentence for housebreaking…and it seems unlikely that he will make if out. The camera follows him around as he shuffles from his cell to a room where he receives a bowl of sadza. Like many others he is also suffering from pellagra - a deficiency disease caused by a lack of vitamin B3 and proteins.

According to a report by the Zimbabwean Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the offender (ZACRO), at least 20 prisoners are dying each day across the country’s 55 institutions.

Some of the prisoners featured in the programme have already died and others like Brian Gumbo are on the brink of death.

Hell Hole was produced by Johann Abrahams and Godknows Nare.


Ms. Jay
31 Mar 2009 09:38

This I have to watch - but why are they focusing so much on prisons? who is going to jail that they fear....

31 Mar 2009 14:36

Mee too Jael...i have to watch this!

Althought  i have to agree that this is how prisoners should be treated BUT for some reason my heart goes out to those people in Zimbabwe (Maybe its me and fear of starvation)

They should do this to our prison in South Africa, transform them from Sun City to a house of horror. SA prisoners lives a good and fancy lives in prisons, no wonder committing crime is such a favorite pastime in here.

31 Mar 2009 14:53

I am soo disgusted by what is going on in Zimbabwe. It is such a damn shame that not many people are interested in helping the situation there. I am extremely outraged. People where are your morals? Help where you can...these people, probably had a good reason to break in....they had to steal some money to feed their families. I truly have no regard whatsoever towards that bastard Robert Mugabe.

31 Mar 2009 22:34

03 Apr 2009 01:00

03 Apr 2009 10:26

desperate times calls for desperate measures neh! back by popular demand the same episode a week after it aired!

03 Apr 2009 10:39

You are right tizoz, it smacks of  desperation.

Ms. Jay
03 Apr 2009 10:44

no tizoz - this feature was a hit - BBC even had this is a headline - another Mugabe failure to highlight.....

Help where you can...these people, probably had a good reason to break in....they had to steal some money to feed their families.

nope they cld have been lik everyon else an got something to do like cross border trading not stealing - you can never justify their stealing! they are just using hunger as an escape goat - what bot those they stole from, raped or killed in the process of them getting "food for their families" pleassssssssssseeeeeeeeee there is no justfication there - and don go calling Mugabe a bastard - thats low....even for you

03 Apr 2009 11:07

I just think Tutu's outburst was too heavy for special assignment that's just my view anyway

07 Apr 2009 16:46

This will win def win the Vodacom Journalist of the Year

07 Apr 2009 17:22

Hell no........I ain't watching that again, what I saw last week was enough....thank you very much.

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