Home Crime 10 DCS officials suspended following prisoner escape

10 DCS officials suspended following prisoner escape

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The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) says a further two correctional officers at the Ngqeleni Correctional facility have been issued with a notice of suspension following the escape of two inmates from custody last week.

This brings to 10 the number of officials suspended following the escape.

One inmate has been rearrested with another, Athini Nothi Mzingelwa, is still at large.


DCS National Commissioner, Makgothi Thobakgale, visited Ngqeleni Correctional facility in the Eastern Cape on Monday and said the department is “confident” that the second inmate will be rearrested in a “short period of time”.

He added that the suspension of the officials involved is part of ensuring that officials account for the escapes.

“That is part of ensuring that we hold our officials responsible for the work that they are supposed to do as management of the Department of Correctional Services. We have the Correctional Services Act. We have policies. We have regulations [and] we have procedures. We have made it a point that all of our officials, especially security officials [and] custodial officials, go through training at the college. They know exactly what not to do and what to do,” he said.

Thobakgale explained that the officials went against security plans on the day that the two escaped.

correctional services

“With this specific activity, there was no approval that the inmates were involved in. If you actually check the number of officials that were responsible on that day, it is against security plans that you would put in place to ensure that you don’t experience this type of escape.

“These incidents are sporadic in our correctional facilities. We are, on a daily basis, housing 156 000 more inmates. What that basically means is that we have a huge population compared to 27 000 officials – part of whom are responsible for security. In all correctional systems in the world, escapes will always be there as part of the risks that we manage.

“For the past three years, the number of escapes in South Africa has been declining – meaning that we are doing well. However, we can’t rule out instances like this one where our own officials actually do not exercise their responsibilities in a manner that they are supposed to,” he said. – SAnews


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