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The multinational security company G4S, a main contender for the South African Social Security Agency tender to distribute social grants, is in court over torture allegations. The company is defending claims by 42 inmates that they were subjected to electric shocks, forcibly injected with antipsychotic drugs and placed in lengthy isolation in G4S’s Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein. The company’s UK prison operations have also been plagued by allegations of physical and other abuse of inmates at their Brookhouse and Medway detention centres. The South African government signed a R10.6bn contract with G4S and four other shareholders in 2000 to build, maintain and run the maximum security prison, with capacity for 3,000 prisoners. G4S, Old Mutual, Fikile Mangaung, Ten Alliance Mangaung and the Ekwezi Community Trust together form Bloemfontein Correctional Contracts, the legal entity that is party to the prison contract. The 42 inmates, represented by the Legal Resources Cen...

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