Prisoners get DStv, drink cognac

2013-05-09 08:45

 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.

  • Darren Raath - 2013-05-09 08:52

    lol! it pays to commit crime in south africa!

      Jaap van Rensburg - 2013-05-09 09:08

      Criminals watching criminals, what a wonderful world!

      mapepaki - 2013-05-09 09:27

      yup five star treatment, no wonder they're all murdering and struggling to get in there. The mind boggles.

      Gideon Van Der Walt - 2013-05-09 09:54

      Not surprised. Correctional services is only a word not an action.

      Kawasaki1985 - 2013-05-09 10:44

      But these are our new Management Centers - When on a management course I expect nothing less !!!

      Hein Huyser - 2013-05-09 11:03

      Indeed Kawa, these guys are after all our political leaders of tomorrow, getting some training and executive treatment easing into their cadre positions.

      Klippies Coke - 2013-05-09 11:09

      Bold and the Beautiful? Jeez, no! I'd rather face the death penalty!

      Wes Schoch - 2013-05-09 11:43

      Remember the prisoners have a right TO VOTE in the erections (elections)that says it all.

      Armand Horn - 2013-05-09 13:07

      What happened to the good old days when one had to work when one was in jail??? Chain gang style should be the only gangs that operate in the jails.

      Tee Klemy - 2013-05-09 13:09


      Mariana Barry - 2013-05-09 13:28

      DSTV !?!?! Cellphones?!?!? How on earth do you raise a child fearing jail sentence??? SOunds like teenage heaven (knowing its not)

      Lionel Schultz - 2013-05-09 15:32

      @ Jaap van Rensburg. And criminals in jail watching criminals out of jail on the DSTV Parliamentary channel.

  • PB - 2013-05-09 08:53

    Excuse me - "it was illegal to install devices to block cellphone signals". Isn't it about time that these b.s. laws get another look at? If it is illegal to have a cellphone in jail - why is it then an issue if that (illegal) signal gets blocked?!?!?!?

      carpejugulim - 2013-05-09 09:02

      it is an issue because prisoners are treated like Royal Game and coddled instead of being punished for comitting crimes. Try enforcing the punishment side and every "human rights" organisation will be squealing in fury.

      Lyell Van Der Walt - 2013-05-09 09:17

      Well you know - reward the criminal, punish the law abiding.

      BraSteve Myaluze - 2013-05-09 09:34

      If warders do their job, we would not argue about legal implications of installing devices that block signals. Just a thought

      Erich Goosen - 2013-05-09 09:53

      I must confess, I committed a murder 30 years ago. Please come and arrest me and lock me up, I can no longer afford the DSTV Premier monthly charges.

      Grant Karl Hide - 2013-05-09 10:16

      with elections coming up, they need the votes.

      Charmian Green - 2013-05-09 10:25

      @ Carpejugulim - they vote ANC - need we say more? Why the hell they have a vote I don't know. I don't know of other countries that give inmates the vote; but voters that are travelling abroad or live temporarily abroad may not vote, oh no!

      Democrazy - 2013-05-09 11:10

      thats why its called"correctional services" not prison.....the liberals would be foaming at the rear ends!

  • Hemlock - 2013-05-09 08:55

    Shocking. These murdering, rapist thugs do not deserve any privileges in prison. Give them HARD labour!Guards should all be jailed too.

      Léviter Au-dessus des Montagnes-Bleues - 2013-05-09 15:09

      South Africa is NEARLY transformed - still a way to go though! AMANDLA and some jigajiggery on the 'mshini'wami'wam sometimes with shrieks of Bayete.

  • Dmitri Dumas - 2013-05-09 08:58

    WTF is all I have to say on this matter ...

  • Jacques - 2013-05-09 08:59

    At least they're watching decent football! Up the Gunners!

  • Trevor Myburgh - 2013-05-09 09:02

    Really? are there gangs in our prisons? No, I can't believe it.DSTV? COGNAC? Women? serious????? I think I want to be in jail rather. With the amount of security, and burglar bars, cameras, electric fence and a demanding wife and children, I feel like I am halve way there. lol

      Charmian Green - 2013-05-09 10:26

      Remember the Zimbabwean that screamed 'bomb' at an airport a while back. He wanted to go to jail so that he could complete his studies.....

  • John Ferreira - 2013-05-09 09:02

    Geen wonder dat wanneer 'n persoon parool kry dan gaan doen hy weer dieselfde misdaad, hy kan nie meer sonder sy luxury klaar kom nie. Soos die ou gesegde dis lekker by die see, baie koek en min tee.

  • Henry Van Der Vaartenburp - 2013-05-09 09:05

    But ask our gahvahment to provide free lunches in public schools...

  • Lando Motaung - 2013-05-09 09:07

    This is ridiculous indeed or is it bcz majority of our leaders have been there done that#justsaying

  • Greypatriot - 2013-05-09 09:08

    The Rewards of Anarchy!

  • Luanda Gqirana - 2013-05-09 09:14

    Watch it someone will blame Zuma.

      Wendy Nezar Schmidt - 2013-05-09 09:27

      Well, shouldn't he know what is going on in his own country? Being president isn't just about how much you can get out of the country.

      warren-rodel - 2013-05-09 09:31

      I will, it's Zuma's fault!

      Marc Klynhans - 2013-05-09 09:34

      wendy - he should, but that's just such a low priority. Bleeding the country dry is way more important.

      Charmian Green - 2013-05-09 10:28

      Curriemafia already did! LOL - maybe he sees his number is coming up and wants to ensure that his prison stay is accommodating to the style he has become accustomed to.

      Hein Huyser - 2013-05-09 11:07

      Very unfortunate Currie, very unfortunate indeed!

      phello.khiba - 2013-05-09 12:26

      zuma is accountand of everything in mzansi..we have corrup governmen't corrupt..dcs members..n correctional service its self..but they cnt afford 2 pay our,outstanding weekend money..sick n tired.the inmates r more importand than Dcs.

  • Annette Zang - 2013-05-09 09:17

    Make use of Robben Island and transfer all SA Prisoners there !

      Ever Ryman - 2013-05-09 09:50

      Years ago there was talk of using disused mines as prisons-seems like a good idea!I wouldn't think cell or DSTV reception is that good down there.

      Ever Ryman - 2013-05-09 10:39

      Inhlanzi-pigs have standards. Doubt they would eat them. Besides, the bacon would be ruined!

      Jonathan William King - 2013-05-09 10:57

      not big enough

  • Nabeel Roberts - 2013-05-09 09:18

    signal blockers illegal in prisons but okay in university lecture halls? gotta love this country.

      Johan Holtzhausen - 2013-05-09 10:21

      Next time if you attend a large event where the President is present, check your signal, she is zero, cos da police block it.

  • Andrew M - 2013-05-09 09:21

    Our prisons are full and many more are on the waiting list. Prisoner rights are so good that it pays to be a criminal with 3 meals daily and a roof over their heads. With poor governance in place all the extras are provided at nominal costs for those who can afford these luxuries.

  • Amaru Shakur - 2013-05-09 09:22

    Wow,Crime does really pay in SA.Good example is the ANC,they are all crooks living large.

  • Wendy Nezar Schmidt - 2013-05-09 09:25

    Remember, the prisoners get to vote, the ANC want to keep the voting fodder going, they don't care how or who from. Same thing at home affairs, they get papers to state they are citizens .. voting fodder .. they have overtaken the Apartheid government in corruption. Maybe put them to work on our pathetic potholed roads, clean the grass verges, pick up the trash .. there is loads to do .. but of course, whoever supervisors them will be bribed and they will all be set free .. corruption breeds corruption.

      Stefan Van Der Spuy - 2013-05-09 12:10

      The ANC is making the pre-1994 governments look like rank amateurs when it comes to corruption.

  • Sean Potgieter - 2013-05-09 09:26

    Raped a child? Murdered a grandmother? Hi-jacked a car? Scared of going to jail? In sunny SA you don't have to be! Come have a big fun party with DSTV and some cognac to relax after your hard day's work. Courtesy of the SA taxpayer

      Johan Holtzhausen - 2013-05-09 10:25

      And if you commit the crime in the next 30 minutes, you'll get double of of everything for the price of one crime. Don't just sit there, call right now and save.

  • Gerald Beer - 2013-05-09 09:28

    It appears that the way many are forced to live, the only difference between in and out of jail,is that on the outside you pay for it.

  • warren-rodel - 2013-05-09 09:30

    Glad to hear KZN at the top of the charts! go ANC - you can break the strangest achievements!

  • Mzwandile Zayd - 2013-05-09 09:30

    "Its illegal to to put deviceses that block cellphone signals in our jails" What a statement, we trully a banana republic, offenders being criminals are more previlaged than the hard working innocent law abiding citezens, and not forgeting the victims of this criminals

  • Marc Klynhans - 2013-05-09 09:31

    He said some officials got calls at midnight from prisoners because some were related to them, who then told them…” ... Good grief! Who writes this?

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-05-09 09:32

    In other words, we are having a ball. Now let in the women.

  • Dinos Kaparos - 2013-05-09 09:34


  • Jacky Mutsila - 2013-05-09 09:34

    bloody agents are living large in the,i dnt even remember da last tym i had hennesy,lol welcome to mzanzi

  • Billy Andrew Croucamp - 2013-05-09 09:36

    And they say there is no SERVICE DELIVERY... ????

  • Willem de Haan - 2013-05-09 09:38

    It is a myth that the prison warders run the prisons. The gangs control them. A proper study of the prison situation would make very interesting reading.

  • Alan Davis - 2013-05-09 09:39

    Come to SA all you criminals - crime pays !!!! I'm not in jail and I don't have DSTV or cognac. I work but cannot most of the stuff they have in "jail" . Welcome to SA (thanks to our ruling political party).

      Sehlaremang Tladi - 2013-05-09 09:57

      what you said is true and that promotes crime! but why do all white people when they open their mouths its about ANC?

      Ann Padoa - 2013-05-09 10:15

      Because the anc is so corrupt, and they have no idea how to run a country. Thats why. Does that answer your stupid question?

      Taki Muhali Sadiki - 2013-05-09 10:18

      Tladi this has got nothing to do with being black or white, the ANC is the one in control of the country so they are to be blamed for this kind of matters, if it was happening during the leadership of DA or any other political party they were gona be held accountable. So chill and stop being so defensive

  • Rowan Maulson - 2013-05-09 09:42

    illegal to install devices to block cellphones? On what planet does this idiot live?... Inside the cell blocks, cell signals must be blocked. Someone I knew ended up in prison for a bit, and i would get calls at all hours of the night asking for airtime, and if i didn't give the airtime then there would be problems. I reported it to one of the people at the prison who pretty much shrugged his shoulders.

  • Sipho Mnguni - 2013-05-09 09:54

    Are you talking about a tropical island of pleasure here or did I hear you mention jail? Expensive cognac in jail! Wow! You have to give it to South Africa, the land of possibilities.

  • Anita De Beer - 2013-05-09 09:56

    So let me get this straight...I have to get up at 5 every morning to go to work so that I can earn some money. Then I pay Tax, W&L, Rent etc. But if you raped, murdered, stole or any other hideous act, not only do you get fed of my Tax, you still get all the bells and whistles I WORK FOR? Oh and you still have the privilege to vote!

  • Arlene Prince - 2013-05-09 10:01

    And here the rest of us are working hard, not getting time for ourselves or our families, just to make ends meat and be able to pay our TV license, it must be nice to take a life, rape,steel and then get rewarded for it. I love South Africa its just become a really messed up place, everything is in reverse.

  • eric09 - 2013-05-09 10:01

    At the expense of tax payer's money

  • Sehlaremang Tladi - 2013-05-09 10:04

    wow! crime does pay after all! they are living large, with our tax money, well the likes of Shaik play golf will detained. what a life

  • Angela Balanco - 2013-05-09 10:05

    Its all good bringing this to our attention but what are they going to do about it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cane Corso - 2013-05-09 10:05

    What you get with one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, criminals run the country.

      Sehlaremang Tladi - 2013-05-09 10:24

      cane if you are not happy with our democracy go hang yourself, this have in most countries. read your news and come with solution stop pointing fingers! people like you are irritating. you are not any better

      Anita De Beer - 2013-05-09 10:34

      Sehlaremang, you so eloquently asked Cane to give a solution, without you yourself offering any solution. I have one, if you commit a crime, don't only do time, but serve the community by fixing what you broke. Example: Instead of having all the time in the world in Prison doing nothing but planning your next crime, let them plant vegetables (oh yes you can feed yourself) work the land and reap the rewards. Give them sowing lessons, let them make clothing. Even manual labor like brick production will be better than them sitting in prison, becoming more rotten by the minute!

  • Lance Hurly - 2013-05-09 10:05

    Time for a referendum... Should the rights of convicted criminals be reduced and such a change be amended in the constitution? Should officers be allowed to take away some of their rights or priveleges when they transgress?

  • Cane Corso - 2013-05-09 10:07

    You just can't punish your voting population too harshly?

  • Mark Renton - 2013-05-09 10:12

    DISGUSTING! Make the F*^%$rs WORK!!! They should be growing their own vegetables and food - shouldn't be the tax payers problem to feed these dregs of society! prison should the a nasty place to be - where you WORK for 16 hours a day!!!!

      Hein Huyser - 2013-05-09 11:16

      If 16hrs /day is the criteria, then I'm in jail already. So where is my DSTV and booze?

      Mark Renton - 2013-05-09 11:43

      Exactly my point Hein! here law abiding citizens are working their backsides off - and these criminals sit back and relax! WHAT is the government teaching people!? Crime pays - OBVIOUSLY!!! all this talk about STOPPING CORRUPTION ETC - what a load of BULL!!!

  • Sheilan Clarke - 2013-05-09 10:12

    "A correctional services official pointed out that it was illegal to install devices to block cellphone signals." :O Wtf????? Another example how criminals have more damn rights.

  • Makhosonke Mqikela - 2013-05-09 10:16


  • Susan Gunning - 2013-05-09 10:18

    hang them all...all they do is go in for a few months/years...come out and kill or rape or rob again just to go back to luxuary

  • Khensani Chauke - 2013-05-09 10:19

    Fly all of them to MARS... simple solution!!!

      John Barakat - 2013-05-09 10:54

      khensani Chauke. Yes but far too expensive!! There are three other much more cost effective solutions. 1. As already suggested, use our disused mines, And if you really want to save taxpayers money, just seal them when they are full. 2. For all major crimes that resulted in dead, GBH, rape etc. Automatic death penalty within 24 hours of sentencing. No long appeals and sitting on death row. Useable organs harvested for those desperately in need of transplants. 3. Adoption of Sharia law. Let the punishment fit the crime. Of course I have no doubt that the "bleeding heart liberals" out there will have a terrible problem with these suggestions. And to their objections all I have to say in advance is "Just remember that, when you are being raped or your husband is being hacked to death in front of you".

  • Nabeel Roberts - 2013-05-09 10:25

    who's joining me. i'm selling everything I own, putting the cash away for my kids one day then taking the easy way out. planning on robbing a few places and in the process I might rape and kill as well. all of this because food and dstv is getting too expensive.

  • Benjamin Ndambi - 2013-05-09 10:26

    I was suprised when my home boy who has been in prison for seven years invited me on facebook and since then we have been chatting on Watsapp. He is still serving his sentence in one of the KZN's prison that I cant mention.

  • Linda Selai - 2013-05-09 10:30

    Wow being in prison seems a lot better in our country, i mean you get everything from free food, dstv channels, cellphone and the warmth of a bed that you dont have to lift a finger for, you simply have to wrong someone they you will get all those, seems like crime does pay in SA

  • Tawizee - 2013-05-09 10:30

    Your life is financially stressful and you want a break? go to jail.

      Kabai Dephrey Moshidi - 2013-05-09 11:02

      I will take your advice, thanks.

  • Rudolph Stoltz - 2013-05-09 10:30

    If South African prisons are run as prisons and not Hotel, the inmates will think twice before they commit a crime again. Let them work hard very hard. Fixing roads or something. In the sun all day. Only 20 min of lunch, you are a prisioner and has transgressed laws of the Replublic. You need to suffer.

      John Barakat - 2013-05-09 11:04

      Fully agree, At the very least a prisoners life once convicted should be less than or worse than the worst off freeman in the country. Otherwise ,seriously what is the point of sending people to jail. Now that might just possibly convince prisoners to rehabilitate

  • Enid Jill Matthews - 2013-05-09 10:46

    No wonder most cant stay out of prison, you rape, murder, rob someone and whalaaa 5STAR treatment!

  • Taki Muhali Sadiki - 2013-05-09 10:49

    What im failing to understand is how blocking cellphone signal in prison is illegal, if its illegal to possess a cellphone in prison it should be legal to block the signal

      Stavious Mamatepa - 2013-05-09 11:16

      He was supposed to say where am I going to get money for lunch if you block those cellphones?

  • Vic Grant - 2013-05-09 10:58

    When found guilty of any criminal activity and sentenced to a prison term, the prisoner should not be entitled to any privileges especially voting rights. Prisoners in SA have it so easy that's why they keep committing crimes, they live better lives than i as a battling pensioner.

      Siyandile Siya - 2013-05-10 00:35

      Dnt 4get da person who brought freedom was a prisoner can't u c the world is ruled by prisoners