Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola. File photo: ANA/Phando Jikelo

DURBAN - Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola on Friday night led a raid by correctional services officials at the Durban Westville Prison in an effort to curb the smuggling of contraband by offenders and errant officials.

The raid resulted in the confiscation of 25 cellphones, 16 cellphone chargers, five earphones, 65 dagga slopes, two dagga pipes, six sim cards, one USB, and illegal money amounting to R390, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Lamola had committed to lead more raids at correctional facilities across the country to implement the department’s zero tolerance policy towards the smuggling of contraband at all its centres. 

He had promised harsh action against officials involved in enabling the smuggling of contraband, and the department would "not show any element of mercy towards such officials".

“We want to create an environment that is conducive towards the rehabilitation of offenders at all our centres and the smuggling of contraband is one of the disturbances that we want to uproot and we will continuously look at ways that we can address this,” Lamola said.

He also appealed to members of the community who frequent correctional facilities to work together with the department. Members of the community should desist from being accomplices to illegal activities by facilitating the smuggling of contraband to offenders.

“Offenders who are caught with the contraband will be dealt with harshly and we will regularly do patrols and searches so that we can control what offenders access in our facilities,” Lamola said.

African News Agency