A full-scale investigation has been launched into a group of inmates at the Mdantsane Correctional Services centre in the Eastern Cape after a video surfaced of them drinking what appeared to be alcohol at the facility.
Correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the inmates were identified, a search was conducted and cellphones were confiscated.
Nxumalo added that the offenders were reclassified and would lose some of their benefits.
In the video, music can be heard playing in the background while the inmates sip on what looks like wine. Smartphones can also be seen while one of the offenders dance to music.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) March 11, 2020
Replying to a tweet of the video, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said the reclassification meant the inmates would be transferred to a maximum-security prison and their eligibility for parole would be affected.
They will also undergo behaviour modification programmes. We are working on increasing our security capacity to reduce the smuggling of contrabands in our facilities including cellphones. (2/2)
— Minister of Justice and Correctional Services ???????? (@RonaldLamola) March 11, 2020
The investigation will establish how the offenders got access to phones and private clothing that are considered contraband inside the facilities, Nxumalo said.
“The department of correctional services will leave no stone unturned in this matter as this is a serious breach of security. This type of behaviour displayed by inmates can never be accepted hence the department will take corrective measures against the implicated inmates,” Nxumalo said.