Warder corruption under the spotlight

Christoff Becker of the 'Waterkloof Four' just moments after being released. Now he is back in custody pending an investigation into the jail party video (pic credit:Gallo)

Christoff Becker of the ‘Waterkloof Four’ just moments after being released. Now he is back in custody pending an investigation into the jail party video (pic credit:Gallo)

Kyla Herrmannsen

Following the Waterfloof Two prison party video that appeared on You tube, showing the two young men allegedly drinking alcohol and using a cell phone behind bars, warder corruption has been placed under the spotlight.

In response, Minister of Correctional Services, Sibusiso Ndebele, said last week that “Anarchy at any correctional centre will not be tolerated, and any official, or offender, found guilty of any such offence will face the full might of the law.”

Today, according to a SAPA report, the Department of Correctional Services has said that over 3000 correctional officials were charged with misconduct and corruption over the course of the 2012/2013 financial year.

Ndebele has reportedly said that 251 officials were demoted and dismissed while a staggering 2850 officials attended disciplinary hearings during the year.

Corruption in prisons is not a new phenomenon though. After a massive raid in Westville Prison in 2013 many contraband items were found hidden in cells. These items included drugs, cell phones, DVD players, porn, sim cards and rope that was used a pulley system to transport secret items from cell to cell. Pointing to the role of corrupt warders, James Selfe, the DA’s Correctional Services spokesperson said at the time that “contraband doesn’t just appear, it needs to be brought in.”

Read below for more stories about corrupt warders – ranging from warders smuggling in alcohol and drugs, ‘selling’ juvenile prisoners to older inmates for sex and even consuming alcohol with the inmates they are tasked with patrolling:

Sex slaves, drugs and video tape

Waterkloof-2: Dis nie net ‘n paar vrot appels nie (written by WJP’s Nooshin Erfani-Ghadimi and Carolyn Raphaely)

Prison raid nets 60 cell phones  

Jali Commission: 109 officials face hearings

Investigating prison corruption in South Africa  

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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