13 prison officials are expected to be suspended after explicit photographs showing prisoners with female strippers surfaced on social media over the weekend.
Acting national commissioner James Smalberger said the officials include top management at the Johannesburg Correctional Centre, also known as “Sun City”.
As part of the correctional services’ Youth Month event on 21 June, three dancers dressed in sexy black bodysuits and knee-high boots formed part of the entertainment for the prisoners.
“The form of entertainment as depicted on social media was not approved as it was not in line with the Department of Correctional Services’ policies and procedures, which are clear in terms of appropriate clothing behaviour when inside a correctional environment,” said Smalberger.
He said six items were approved youth day events, but the item which included the female dancers was not cleared by the department.
Smalberger added that management went ahead with the female dancers despite the department’s instructions.
“The management of the event should have never allowed and immediately halted this type of entertainment…”
Minister of Correctional Services Michael Masutha directed Smalberger and senior officials to report to Sun City prison to be briefed on the outcomes of the preliminary investigation, he said.
The investigation was started on Saturday and should be completed by the end of this month.
“There was a clear breach of the security plan that was provided for the event, as well as other relevant [policies] and procedures. This type of conduct is unacceptable, particularly in a correctional facility where security is of paramount importance.”
Apologising to the nation, he said: “We will make sure that those found guilty face the consequences of their actions and also that sufficient measures are in place to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.”
In a press statement, Cope slammed the incident: “Minister Michael Masutha must provide an explanation to the nation if prisoners are entertained in this manner with taxpayers’ money. What is rehabilitating about strippers – is it some sort of therapy which South Africans were not filled in on?”