DA welcomes investigations into drugs, weapons at Durban prison

Durban Westville Prison. The Democratic Alliance has welcomed investigations into videos that showed prisoners openly doing drugs and being given weapons by officials.
Durban Westville Prison. The Democratic Alliance has welcomed investigations into videos that showed prisoners openly doing drugs and being given weapons by officials.
Image: Gallo Images/The Times/Tebogo Letsie

The Democratic Alliance on Sunday welcomed an investigation into two videos showing inmates of the Durban Westville Prison openly doing drugs and being given weapons by officials.

“We trust that the implicated officials have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

“Once the report is finalised, it must be tabled before the [parliamentary] portfolio committee on correctional services to be thoroughly interrogated,” DA shadow minister of correctional services James Selfe said.

On Saturday, justice minister Ronald Lamola described the videos as shocking and said he had instructed officials to furnish him with a report explaining who the officials on duty were, whether they had been disciplined and whether a case had been opened with police for drug offences.

Selfe said it was likely that this was not an isolated incident.

“Corruption should have no place in our society,  yet it is rife within the entire prison system and the prevalence of gangsterism is well known.

“Gangsters are well organised and bribe officials which undermines good order within prisons,” Selfe said

Selfe said Lamola must ensure that there was strict access control and searches conducted not only on inmates but on prison officials as well.

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