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Cape Town - Prison authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding unauthorised items, which could include cellphones and drugs, found in the communal jail cell of notorious Hard Livings leader Rashied Staggie.
A decade ago Staggie, set to be released on day parole later this month, was convicted of kidnapping and raping a Manenberg woman.
He has served 10 years of his 15-year jail sentence, which runs concurrently with a 13-year sentence handed to him in 2004 for stealing weapons from the Faure police armoury.
Staggie has been detained in the Brandvlei Prison in Worcester.
On Tuesday James Smalberger, of the Correctional Services Department, said a case management committee and parole board would look into the unauthorised items matter, but as it stood Staggie was set to be released on day parole on September 23.
Smalberger said as part of the department’s operating procedures, cells and offenders were searched daily.
This sometimes happened more than once a day and surprise searches were also conducted.
Smalberger said “contraband” was found on different days in the communal cell in which Staggie was detained, and which included about 30 other inmates.
He said these unauthorised items could include drugs, cellphones or sharpened objects.
“It (the unauthorised items) was not found in the possession of Staggie, but offenders in the same cell,” Smalberger said.
Aside from saying “an illegal substance” was found, Smalberger declined to specify what was discovered in the cell.
He said cellphones were not allowed in prison cells.
Inmates could, however, make use of specific landlines to make calls.
Smalberger said an internal investigation into the unauthorised items had been launched and, if necessary, “disciplinary procedures would be launched against the relevant offenders”.