WATCH: Minister to take action after Westville Prison videos of 'drug use', fighting emerge

2019-06-25 16:19
Behind bars

Behind bars

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Durban's infamous Westville Prison is under ministerial scrutiny after videos emerged of a convicted murderer who appeared to be using drugs and of officials handing weapons to inmates for fighting.

"We have received a preliminary report but we are not willing to comment on it at this stage. A further communication on this matter will be given by Friday," Department of Justice and Correctional Services spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said on Tuesday.

One of the video's shows convicted murderer Ruwain Meer snorting what appears to be cocaine. He then dances while the video pans over to a fellow inmate.

He is currently serving a double life sentence after he was found guilty of the murder of Chatsworth businessman Zainool Fakir, 32, and his nephew, Akbar Sudhoona, 27.

The other video shows two inmates using a baton to beat each other while officials watch.

Phiri said Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola wants to know where officials were in both instances and whether the officials were subjected to disciplinary processes.

He also asked whether a case had been opened against Meer for possession of or dealing in drugs.

"This report must be made available as soon as it is practically possible. We are not a lawless state. Moreover, institutions which are meant to rehabilitate inmates cannot be a hive of lawlessness," said Lamola.

He said there was "no place in our society" for officials in critical institutions like the Department of Correctional Services, who have no regard for the law.

"Should the investigation find that a violation of any policy and law has taken place, there will be serious ramifications for the individuals concerned. Our society demands the highest level of discipline and accountability from the criminal justice system as a whole," Lamola said.

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