Interception of contraband bound for prisoners at Khayelitsha court cells applauded
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Cape Town - Three parcels of dagga, 344 mandrax tablets, three bags of tik and six SIM cards were among the contraband sealed in forensic bags found at the Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court cells, as the police and Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (Leap) officers conducted a joint operation at the weekend.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said the interception of the contraband was very good news.
"We see that our Leap officers are making a significant contribution in supporting the work of the police. If you think about it, out of searching a few people in cells, 344 mandrax tablets are found. That means there were very little controls. But not any more. We are sending criminals back to the drawing board,” said Fritz.
Khayelitsha community policing forum (CPF) chairperson Fransina Lukas said an investigation into the matter must be launched. Lukas said one could only imagine that those things have been happening for some time and it has only now been discovered during the joint operation.
"Those suspected to be responsible must be dealt with harshly via internal disciplinary processes and they must also be criminally charged and prosecuted and join their friends in prison," said Lukas.
ANC community safety provincial spokesperson Mesuli Kama said those kinds of operations should be compulsory and conducted every day.
"The rumours have always been there, that all these illegal things happen during court appearances, where those who are making appearances are given these parcels so they can take them back to prisons where they are remanded."
He said the police and the correctional services should urgently meet to discuss the ramifications and plot a way forward to stop the use of drugs and cellphones in prisons, and investigate whether any government officials aided those illegal activities.
Correctional Services regional commissioner Delekile Klaas said the department had also uncovered a number of illegal items during its operation at some of the correctional facilities.
Klaas said the operation, which included the police, formed part of DCS’s programme to ensure that correctional facilities become centres for rehabilitation and not breeding grounds for drug distribution and crime.