WATCH | Prison raid in KZN reveals weapons, drugs and cellphones

13 October 2021 - 12:22
A correctional services officer orders inmates to leave their cells and sit in the quad with their hands above their heads during a raid at Qalakabusha Correctional Centre on Tuesday.
A correctional services officer orders inmates to leave their cells and sit in the quad with their hands above their heads during a raid at Qalakabusha Correctional Centre on Tuesday.
Image: Orrin Singh

The department of correctional services is expected to crack the whip on the management of Qalakabusha Correctional Centre in northern KwaZulu-Natal after dozens of cellphones, weapons and drugs were discovered during an unannounced raid on Tuesday. 

The raid was conducted by a national task team from the department, in conjunction with other stakeholders, after a number of prison escapes as well as an incident earlier this year where hundreds of cellphones were confiscated from inmates at the facility. 

A large amount of contraband – including dozens of cellphones, chargers, dagga, 'muti' and cash – was discovered during a raid at the Qalakabusha Correctional Centre in northern KZN on Tuesday morning.

Sources within correctional services said the prison had left the department with egg on its face after four inmates from its maximum-security unit escaped in three separate incidents within 12 months.

“It's literally becoming a mini Westville Prison — and for such a small part of northern KZN to have to deal with criminals of this nature who have escaped, it's not a good thing.” 

Tuesday's bust saw 37 cellphones, at least R12,000 worth of dagga, “muti” and handmade weapons confiscated from 296 inmates who were searched. 

Acting national commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale was not impressed.

“Is this what I have to come here to find? I need to abandon my duties at national and come here to find this? I don't know what you are doing here because clearly you are not working,” a livid Thobakgale was overheard reprimanding one of the prison officials. 

He said standard operational procedures were clearly flouted at the facility. 

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