Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has called for greater accountability and serious consequences against prisoners and officials who engage in illegal activity.
Lamola was briefing the media in Parliament on Wednesday following security breaches at the Durban Westville prison where officials could be seen agitating inmates to fight. Videos of prisoners using drugs have also emerged at the same facility.
Lamola said the number of irregular and unacceptable episodes of security breaches in prisons have attracted negative publicity for the department.
He said he instructed national commissioner Arthur Fraser to investigate the video, which showed two very disturbing incidents.
The minister has now called for serious consequences for officials and inmates.
“We’ll be engaging organised labour in our sector and the National Prosecuting Authority on a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to smuggling of contraband in our facilities. Errant officials involved in the smuggling craft and other offences will not be spared any mercy, these officials will be summarily dismissed.”
Lamola said to curb this from happening in future, the department would be using technology like body scanners to make correctional facilities safer.