- Two people, one a correctional services official, are behind bars after they allegedly attempted to smuggle contraband into a prison.
- In an attempt to escape arrest, the official hid himself in a storm water drain for about six hours.
- The Department of Correctional Services says it is committed to contraband-free facilities.
Two people, one a Department of Correctional Services official, are behind bars after they allegedly attempted to smuggle contraband into the Durban Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.
Department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the suspects' vehicle was stopped by officials at the correctional centre at about 01:18 on Saturday.
"One person opted to flee, evading the officials who were closing in. The driver of the vehicle [a private citizen] was eventually apprehended. He disclosed the identity of his associate as a Department of Correctional Services [DCS] official," added Nxumalo.
When the vehicle was searched, the following items were discovered:
A cellphone and charger.
Three parcels of dagga
924 white and blue whoonga capsules.
50 mandrax tablets.
Nxumalo said at around 07:50 on Sunday, dayshift officials were alerted to screams for help inside a storm water drain at the centre.
Upon inspection, the department's Emergency Support Team and police found the correctional services official trapped inside the drain."He had been in that hiding spot since 01:18," added Nxumalo.
The department said it was leaving nothing to chance and was committed to contraband-free facilities.
"It is a 360 degree focused intervention as attention is given to every inmate, official, service provider, visitors and residences within our premises," it added.
Nxumalo said the department expected strict adherence to safety standards "from all those who interface with DCS".
"Visitors, inmates, officials and private citizens caught contravening our regulations shall be dealt with through the criminal justice system."
The department reiterated its call that errant officials involved in the smuggling of contraband would be shown no mercy.