News24

Escape-linked officials axed

2010-06-01 22:26

Johannesburg - Two prison officials linked to an escape in Harrismith were dismissed on Tuesday, the correctional services department said.

Spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said the dismissal followed a fact finding visit to the facility by the minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, on Tuesday after 41 awaiting-trial detainees escaped on Monday night.

Mapisa-Nqakula said a breach of security could not be tolerated because South Africans and Parliament expected not just a reduction in escapes, but no escapes from correctional centres.

Wolela said the minister expressed concerns about the integrity of some correctional officials whose conduct gave a bad name to other department officials.

Eight of the escapees were recaptured by police.

A manhunt was on for the others.

Mapisa-Nqakula said new measures would be introduced to beef up security at correctional centres.

The Harrismith correctional centre houses 236 inmates, 91 of whom are remand detainees.