MEC demands probe into 'Pollsmoor' Facebook page

2015-07-09 16:38
Mnr. Dan Plato

Mnr. Dan Plato

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Cape Town - Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato is demanding feedback from the national correctional services minister on whether a Facebook page publishing photos, ostensibly taken inside Pollsmoor Prison, was authentic.

“Our prisons [can’t] become party palaces for criminals where photoshoots and communication with the outside world are the order of the day,” he said.

The page, boasting over 3 000 likes, contains photos of what appears to be inmates in prison overalls. It has allegedly been open since January.

Plato said he was concerned that photos seemingly taken from inside the prison and most likely by inmates themselves, were being disseminated on social media.

The photos include shots of sleeping inmates.

“The page raises serious concerns about how prisoners are not only able to take photographs inside the prison, but might even have access to the internet and by extension the outside world from which they are meant to be removed,” he said. 

“The George ‘Geweld’ Thomas court case earlier this year sounded the alarm on an apparent 33 000 phone calls placed by him while being incarcerated. 

“At the time I requested the National Minister of Correctional Services conduct extensive raids in prisons in the Western Cape and even use technology, such as signal jammers, to prevent prisoners from maintaining a hold over the communities they were removed from.”

Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela confirmed access to mobile devices was prohibited.

The page may also be in violation of Facebook's terms of service, which specifically forbids criminal activity from being celebrated on pages.

Read more on:    dan plato  |  cape town  |  prisons  |  social networks

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