Kalvin Periasamy
Kalvin Periasamy
Cheslyn Rousseau
Cheslyn Rousseau
Sinethemba Sotewu
Sinethemba Sotewu
Kader Abdul Latiff
Kader Abdul Latiff
Eugene Williams
Eugene Williams
Vuyani Eric Nyawose
Vuyani Eric Nyawose
Kevin ‘Cheesy’ Periasamy
Kevin ‘Cheesy’ Periasamy
Members of the SAPS standing outside Westville Correctional Facility on Thursday
Members of the SAPS standing outside Westville Correctional Facility on Thursday
Prisoners being searched at Westville Correctional Facility, following an attempted jail break.
Prisoners being searched at Westville Correctional Facility, following an attempted jail break.

DURBAN - Members of a notorious Durban gang were moved to Kokstad’s maximum security Ebongweni C-Max facility from the Westville Prison after a jail break scare this week.

Westville Prison’s Medium A section was on lockdown as members of the SAPS bomb squad and the Tactical Response Team stood off outside the facility acting on a tip-off that an escape attempt was scheduled to take place at midday on Thursday.

Police were tipped off that about 10 inmates who were all allegedly part of the “Bloods Gang” were orchestrating a prison break attempt and that firearms, as well as explosives, had been smuggled into the prison this week.

A search operation was subsequently conducted at the Medium A section which houses awaiting-trial prisoners.

National Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Logan Maistry said, in the interests of security, he could not confirm if members of the gang were moved.

However, police sources have confirmed the transfer.

“Specific details about specific inmates are not for public consumption,” said Maistry.

The members, including kingpins of the gang, brothers Kalvin and Kevin Periasamy, had been in Medium A since January. They operated largely in the Phoenix area and were arrested for allegedly running a drug cartel.

Four other gang members voluntarily handed themselves in two weeks ago and questions surrounding their sudden surrender were raised by some complainants. They alleged it was to orchestrate the escape of the Periasamys.

KZN Correctional Services spokesperson Thulani Mdluli confirmed that an operation was held at the Westville Prison on Thursday.

“This was conducted due to an anonymous call made to alert us about unauthorised weapons that had been smuggled in,” said Mdluli.

He said no illegal and dangerous weapons were found. One of the complainants, Sharlene Naidoo whose husband, tow-truck operator Lazarus “Fee” Naidoo, was gunned down by members of the gang in April, said she was horrified to learn of the prison break attempt scare.

She said her son had received a message about the incident. Attorney Chris Gounden, who is acting for the Periasamy brothers, said he was unaware of them being moved from Westville Prison as he had only returned from an overseas trip on Thursday. 

“I will enquire about this when I am back at the office,” he said.

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SUNDAY TRIBUENE