Cape Town - The Department of Correctional Services could be headed to court again to sue G4S over the Thabo Bester fallout, as it takes over the running of Mangaung prison from the disgraced contractor.
The department is currently locked in a legal battle with G4S after it slapped it with a R110 million lawsuit for costs incurred when it was forced to take over the running of the riotous Mangaung Correctional Centre in 2013.
At the time the department said G4S had lost effective control of Mangaung where there were prison riots, violence and a warder was taken hostage for 13 hours by inmates.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola told members of the National Assembly’s oversight committee this week they were still suing G4S for that matter when they took over the troubled prison in 2013.
It is not known at what point DCS handed back control of the prison to G4S.
Senior officials from the department told parliamentarians they had to invoke Section 112 of the Correctional Services Act that allows them to take over the prison.
They said the civil claim of R110m against G4S was still to be heard in the High Court.
The officials said part of the concession agreement with G4S was that if they take over the prison, they will claim back for the costs incurred.
The lawsuit against G4S for the 2013 matter has not been finalised in court.
Lamola confirmed that this lawsuit was still to be argued in a court by the two parties.
The question came after ANC MP Nomathemba Maseko-Jele, Vusi Khoza of the EFF and others wanted to know if the department would claim back the money from G4S for costs incurred during the take over.
Lamola said the costs incurred would have to be claimed back from G4S as there was currently a legal battle in the High Court over the 2013 incident when they took over.
“The issue of claiming back the money from G4S. Just to state to the committee that, you will remember when we presented that there is a dispute of 2013. The dispute also emanates from us taking over. It was R110 million,” said Lamola.
The department said after the Bester matter, it has already sent a team to Mangaung to start the process of once again taking over the prison.