Pretoria: Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele says that anarchy in South Africa’s prisons, including from officials, will not be tolerated and anyone found guilty will face the full might of the law.
“As the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), we will fight fraud and corruption with vigour. We will root out criminal behaviour amongst those who taint our standing and reputation in society,” Minister Ndebele said on Sunday.
As part of the department’s anti-corruption strategy, since 2009/10, more than 171 DCS officials were dismissed, demoted or suspended for offences related to only fraud and corruption, including 28 officials between April and December 2013.
Last year, about 251 officials were dismissed and demoted, while 2 850 officials were subjected to misconduct and disciplinary hearings.
“We refuse to allow those few individuals to reverse the gains we have achieved. Correctional Services has made significant strides from the inherited prison system prior to 1994. However, much more still needs to be done.”
Minister Ndebele’s comments come soon after Frikkie du Preez and Christoff Becker, also known as the “Waterkloof Two”, were rearrested after a video emerged showing the pair apparently drinking alcohol and having a party in prison.
The two men, along with Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinardt Tiedt, were released on parole last week after serving less than half of their 12-year sentence for the murder of a homeless man.
The minister said they were closing down on the officials involved in the incident.
He said together with the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services, as well as other law enforcement agencies, his ministry will continue to ensure that any official, offender or member of the public found guilty of any offence face the consequences of their actions.
“We are also calling upon the public to report any criminal activity to the Department’s toll-free anti-corruption hotline 0800 701 701,” Minister Ndebele said.