Relationships between inmates and officials ‘embarrassing’
DEPUTY Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Phathekile Holomisa, said relationships between prison officials and inmates were an embarrassment to the department.
He told the portfolio committee on justice yesterday that these incidents damaged the reputation of the department.
Chief Deputy Commissioner for human resources, Cynthia Ramulifho, said although incidents of sexual activities between officials and inmates seldom occurred, they were regarded as despicable and unfortunate.
“These acts of misconduct defeat the mandate of the department and put the name of the department into disrepute,” said Ramulifo.
Four cases have been reported to the department, with two finalised and the other two pending.
A video of a female prison warden engaging in sexual activity with an offender at Ncome Correctional Facility in KwaZulu-Natal recently did the rounds on social media. She was dismissed last month. Holomisa said a second official who allowed the two to use her office was also dismissed.
Meanwhile, the department said 17922 sentenced offenders qualified for the Covid-19 Special Parole Dispensation, not 19000 as initially stated.
Chief Deputy Commissioner for Community Corrections, Anna Molepo, said in addressing, managing and combating the spread of the Covid-19 in Correctional Centres, the department recommended to the president to place selected categories of low risk sentenced offenders on parole to continue to serve their sentences in the system of community corrections.
As of April 2021, 13989 offenders had been released.