Prison closed after damage

A thunderstorm damaged the roof of the Ladybrand Correctional Centre.Photo: Supplied
A thunderstorm damaged the roof of the Ladybrand Correctional Centre.Photo: Supplied

The Ladybrand Correctional Centre has been temporarily closed.

This is after a thunderstorm damaged the roof of the facility, leaving a trail of damages.

Kgopolelo Jabanyane, spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services, said the storm hit the area on Wednesday (20/01).

He said the 68 inmates from the facility have since been relocated to the Wepener Correctional Centre, which has an approved bed space for 147 inmates.

He said there were casualties due to the gusty wind and heavy rainfall.

“With the help of the police, the 68 offenders were transferred to Wepener immediately after this incident.

“In compliance to health protocols on Covid-19, the Department of Correctional Services’ healthcare professionals ensured that all non-pharmaceutical measures to contain the spread of the virus were followed.

“All arriving offenders were separated from the rest of the prison population.

“They were all screened and sanitised prior to their journey and on arrival at the centre by health workers,” said Jabanyane.

He said the officials from the department in the province were in the pro-cess of assessing the situation, as well as quantifying the cost of damages that were caused.

Jabanyane stated that part of the roof was beyond repair.

“A team of officials, constituted by technical experts within the department, had begun assessing the extent of the damage,” said Jabanyane.

Members of the public who need to do so, are advised to call the head of the Wepener Correctional Centre, Rosalie Smith, on 082-416-1374, or alternatively to contact her on rosalia.smith@dcs.gov.za.

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