• Isak Sass

    Isak Sass is a survivor of sexual violence in detention and in the community. Isak was raped multiple times while awaiting trial in Paarl in the Western Cape between 1999 and 2001. After he was sentenced, Isak was again routinely sexually abused through ten years of incarceration. In 2014, through a digital story, Isak was one of the first men in Africa to speak openly about surviving sexual abuse in detention and worked with JDI-SA to make the film, Taking Off the Mask. The film, released in 2019, recounts Isak’s ordeal inside prison and his journey towards healing.

  • Odwa Mbane

    Odwa Mbane is a transgender woman and transgender rights activist. She plays a pivotal role in mobilizing the transgender community to access affirming health and psychosocial services. While doing sex work in Johannesburg, Odwa was arrested and sexually abused by a police officer. She wants to help ensure that trans people are treated with respect in detention, and not put in harm’s way, nor subjected to cruel and prejudiced comments aimed at people who are trans or gay.

    She continues to share her story and promote the advancement of LGBTIQ+ people’s rights.



  • Tsakani Motshweni

    Tsakani Motshweni was locked up when he was only 14 years old.  While locked-up in a Gauteng juvenile facility, an adult was allocated to Tsakani’s single cell; he drugged Tsakani and raped him. Tsakani has shared about his childhood experiences of witnessing violence and gender-based violence in his family. Through the film, I did not ask for this, Tsakani challenges us to prioritise tackling the roots and impact of childhood trauma, and to think differently about what justice can look like.

  • Tebogo Mokobori

    Tebogo Mokobori is a transgender woman who, in 2006, was arrested and locked up at a Rustenburg police station, when she was only 12. Tebogo was placed in a cell with adult men. In custody, Tebogo was assaulted by a police official to force a confession and subjected to hateful comments about her gender identity.  On her first night she was raped. Years later, she learnt that she had contracted HIV. Tebogo has spoken out against the violation of trans and queer people’s rights in places of detention in JDI-SA seminars, at local universities, with international government policy makers, think tanks and to the media.

  • Vusi Skosana

    Vusi Skosana is a gay man who lives in Mamelodi, Pretoria. During his incarceration, Vusi was forced into three abusive relationships at a Pretoria prison.  Towards the end of his six month stay, Vusi was gang raped. Officials ignored his calls for help; as a result the abuse continued until he was released. Vusi is dedicated to shedding light on the prison culture of violence, misogyny, and hatred of marginalised sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. In the documentary, I Survived Sexual Violence in Prison, Vusi shares his experiences in the correctional facility and how he had to overcome the darkness that comes with being sexually abused. He is an activist who seeks to end sexual abuse behind bars and wants officials to be held accountable.