Johannesburg - Tebogo Makena, a Pretoria prisoner who boasts about his flashy lifestyle in a video circulating on social media, is living the high life behind bars.
Inmates at Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre said they were not shocked to see Makena trending on Twitter on Thursday as he lived a life of privilege in his single cell in A Section because he allegedly pays prison wardens for favours.
“This is not new to us. He boasts about clothes, jewellery and sometimes food. Wardens bring this stuff for him and he pays them handsomely. He scams people from outside while in prison, and the warden sometimes collect the money for him from outside,” said an inmate.
Makena, who is serving four years for malicious damage of state property and house-breaking, is also facing an ongoing charge of fraud and forgery,” said Gauteng Correctional Services spokesperson Mocheta Monama.
Makena, who is from Soshanguve, and Lucas Masemola were caught last year while running an extortion scam from inside Odi Prison. They allegedly posed as police investigators and would call police stations to obtain information on car hijackings and car theft.
They would then contact the victims, inform them that their vehicles had been recovered and tell them that they had to deposit money through eWallet to get their vehicles back, the police said at the time. He was then transferred to Pretoria.
Inmates at Kgosi Mampuru II told The Star that Makena could still be benefiting from the scam as he always had money.
In the video posted on Twitter on Thursday, Makena and an unidentified inmate are seen boasting about Louis Vuitton and Gucci shoes that he had just purchased for R13000. He brags that he does not buy his clothes from Marabastad and shows off a Louis Vuitton invoice. He is then heard saying the shoes were bought from Shop 26 Upper Level at Sandton City in Joburg.
The video also shows Jacobs Kronung coffee, All Bran Flakes and a Russell Hobbs kettle, which are luxury items in jail.
Although an obvious offence seen in the video is the use of a cellphone, Monama said other possible offences would be revealed once their investigation was complete.
He said his department condemned the video and that they would conduct a thorough probe.
“Due to the seriousness of the matter, we immediately instituted an internal investigation. The investigation will also help to ensure that plans are in place to minimise the recurrence of similar incidents. If found guilty the inmates may face criminal charges, and this may result in an additional term of imprisonment,” said Monama.