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WATCH | Westville inmates have a 'cocaine party' in prison

25 June 2019 - 13:12 By Orrin Singh

A number of inmates have been moved to a maximum secure facility following the emergence of two videos from Durban's Westville Prison.

One shows an inmate openly snorting drugs, listening to music and dancing. 

The other shows correctional officials handing weapons to prisoners and instigating them to fight each other.

Both videos were filmed secretly at Westville Prison, near Durban, and have taken social media by storm. 

The department of correctional services on Tuesday confirmed that it had received a preliminary report from prison officials following an internal probe launched by minister of justice and correctional services Ronald Lamola. 

Speaking to TimesLIVE on Tuesday, department spokesperson Chrispin Phiri confirmed that a preliminary report has been given to the office of the minister. 

"We have received a preliminary report but we are awaiting the finalisation of certain information. Feedback will be provided on the outcome of investigations no later than Friday."

Phiri confirmed that the man snorting a substance believed to be cocaine in the video was identified as Ruwain Meer - a double-murder convict. 

Meer and his co-accused, Priyen Naidu, were in 2014 found guilty of the murders of Chatsworth businessman Zainool Fakir, 32, and his 27-year-old nephew, Akbar Sudhoona.

Meer was given a double life sentence.

The videos were leaked on Monday following news which broke at the weekend. 

The department of correctional services on Saturday confirmed that Durban's Westville correctional facility was under ministerial scrutiny after Lamola described the videos as "shocking".  

Lamola has instructed the relevant officials in the department to furnish him with a report  explaining:

• Who were the officials on duty in both instances?

• Were the officials subjected to any disciplinary process?

• Was a case opened with the police for possession and/or dealing in drugs?

"We are not a lawless state, moreover institutions which are meant to rehabilitate inmates cannot be a hive of lawlessness."

Lamola said there was no place in society for officials in critical institutions such as  correctional services who have no regard for the law.

"Should the investigation find that a violation of any policy or 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," added Lamola.