Pretoria – Search operations conducted at the Westville and Pietermaritzburg Correctional Centres in KwaZulu-Natal have been successful.
During the operations, which were conducted earlier this month, Correctional Services authorities confiscated 411 cell phones, 404 batteries, 141 chargers, 482 sim cards, 133 ear pieces, dagga and 68 mandrax tablets.
Other items which were found at the facilities included whoonga, 16 knives, 118 sharpened weapons, cash, bank cards, foreign currency, cigarettes, jewellery, hair cutting machines, memory sticks and padlocks.
National Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services Zach Modise, has commended the department’s National Task Team (NTT) for restoring security, safety and orderly custody.
“As part of the operation, two correctional officials have also been suspended, pending an investigation, for conspiring with inmates to smuggle cell phones,” the department said.
The NTT has also been working daily from 5am until lockup to ensure that no stabbings, and other unlawful incidents, take place.
Modise said both rehabilitation and security must be conducted in an environment in which human dignity and rights of offenders are respected.
“The training of correctional officials in methods of searching physical spaces where individuals live, work or congregate, and searching of the individuals themselves, must aim to ensure the ability to detect and prevent an escape attempt or the hiding of contraband, while, at the same time, respecting the dignity of the inmate,” he said.
Modise said excessive security and control at the expense of justice could lead to situations in which orderly and fair management gives way to abuse of power, violence by both offenders and officials, the possibility of escapes and the absence of constructive activities for inmates.
Officials from the Boksburg Correctional Centre in Gauteng confiscated cell phones, dangerous weapons and drugs during a search operation on Saturday.