Prisoners get DStv, drink cognac

2013-05-09 08:45
Picture: AP

Picture: AP

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 Cape Town - Cellphones, mobile DStv devices, expensive cognac and soapies like The Bold & The Beautiful are just some of the pleasures prisoners in South African jails enjoy.

Chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on correctional services, Vincent Smith, expressed his disapproval with the situation after department officials handed over a report on the state of some prisons, reported Die Burger.

“Your presentation is very poor. There is no mention of cellphones in jails. If you say the gangs inside and outside are the same, and they communicate daily with one another, why don’t you install devices to block cellphone signals?” he asked.

“Nobody talks about the officials who collaborate with detainees to smuggle in cellphones. The cellphones get in because officials smuggle them in. Drugs are smuggled in. DStv-Walkas are smuggled in.”

He said some officials got calls at midnight from prisoners because some were related to them, who then told them…”No, I’m sitting here with a Hennessey and a DStv-Walka and am watching Liverpool against Arsenal.”

A correctional services official pointed out that it was illegal to install devices to block cellphone signals.

The official, Gcinumzi Ntlakana, admitted that gangs were common in jails.

According to statistics, the worst gang activities took place in jails in KwaZulu-Natal, followed by the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Gauteng.

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