Correctional Services Acting National Commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale says the department is prepared for any “negative incidents” at correctional facilities across the country.
He was speaking during the launch of the department’s Festive Season Security Operations at Pollsmoor Correctional Centre in the Western Cape.
“[W]e have more than enough evidence, indicating propensity of negative incidents during the festive season in our facilities, these include, assaults, gang initiations, escape attempts and smuggling of contraband.
“It is therefore necessary that we leave nothing to chance and make it impossible for inmates to break our security system, in their desperate pursuit of breaking loose during this period,” he said.
The acting national commissioner said correctional services officials have already started conducting random searches within facilities.
“The searches conducted from last night to the early hours of this morning are meant to focus us at achieving contraband free facilities. But critically, we ought to deal with those in brown uniforms yet relentless in contravening our code of conduct and become active participants in the life of crime. To be succinct, those in breach of our security systems must face the full might of the law,” he said.
According to Thobakgale, the department is also preparing for heightened criminal activities and subsequent incarcerations as the festive season approaches.
“During the festive season, there are high traffic volumes. There are also movements that get increased between provinces in our country, between localities and this is the time that also, those who want to take opportunity of committing crime heighten their activities.
“It is in that context that…in anticipation of the numbers that will be coming through from the justice system into our own facilities…we have to make sure that we are ready, we meet the challenges that we face at operational level with the level of capacity that they require,” he said.
Thobakgale said over the past three days, the department deployed officials to engage the parolees and their families and the community.
“That is to ensure that our parolees comply with the conditions that have been set by the parole boards. Most importantly, it is to send a message to our communities that…they continue to be safe as the parolees continue to serve their sentences”.
Source: South African Government News Agency