Justice and Correctional Services minister, Ronald Lamola, says nearly 140 cases have been confirmed.
”As of 28 April 2019, we have a total of 138 cases across four provinces in correctional services which include head office. The East London facility was first which has now 35 officials and 56 inmates who have tested positive,” explains Lamola.
The committee has also heard that corruption, with regard to COVID-19 related matters, is being investigated. This is according to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi.
”There have been reports of COVID-19 related corruption where people get involved in illegal activities in various relief interventions. Give law enforcement a chance to show that we can immediately respond to corruption swiftly. Not dealing with it years later like the state capture but will deal with it efficiently,” adds the Batoyi.
The Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Phathekile Holomisa, has confirmed that the department is addressing corruption related to COVID-19 interventions in the department.
”Yes indeed [we] aware of reports of corruption involving senior officials of the department … [we are] looking into it, designing ways of addressing it,” explains Holomisa.
Meanwhile, over 1 000 prisoners have been screened and tested for COVID-19 at the Bethal Correctional Centre in Mpumalanga. Tests were also conducted at the Mkhondo and Volksrust Correctional Centres.
The inmates have welcomed the programme saying it shows that the government is committed to fighting the spread of the virus.
Health officials are conducting tests and screening for the coronavirus in different correctional facilities in the Mpumalanga province.
Hundreds of inmates are participating in the programme.