- Deputy Justice Minister Thabang Makwetla says recent prison escapes could not have taken place without the assistance of prison officials
- He told Parliament’s justice committee the human factor played a greater role in recent escapes than stretched resources
- Makwetla’s says he has evidence that officials aided and abetted inmates involved in recent prison escapes.
Deputy Justice Minister Thabang Makwetla said the recent spate of prison escapes from Johannesburg Prison also known as ‘Sun City’ and Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison could not have taken place without the assistance of Correctional Services officials.
Makwetla told Parliament’s justice committee the human factor played a greater role in the recent incidents than the thinly stretched resources which the Department of Correctional Services operated on.
He said: “It is not so much the levels of resources that are responsible for the escapes, but there is a human factor challenge that is beginning to creep in here.”
Briefly.co.za discovered that Makwetla revealed that he had obtained clear evidence that prison officials aided and abetted inmates in the brazen recent escapes.
Makwetla undertook an on-site inspection at the infamous Johannesburg Prison.
“There is clear evidence that without assistance there's no way that those inmates would have escaped,” Makwetla said after the inspection.
Earlier, Justice Minister Michael Masutha told the committee that he had received preliminary reports from Johannesburg Prison and Pollsmoor prison, near Cape Town regarding the recent escapes.
Masutha said the reports indicated that Corrections officers failed to observe and adhere to proper procedures. He said disciplinary action would be taken where applicable.
Masutha issued a stern warning to anyone aiding and abetting prisoners with their escape attempts, he said anyone found to assist in any way, shape or form would face the full might of the law.
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