THE Department of Correctional Services is investigating how a smartphone made its way into the prison cell of a man who killed Tshegofatso Pule.
This comes after Independent Media broke the story of Pule’s convicted murderer Muzikayise Malephane updating his Facebook status from prison. The posts from prison were met with an outcry by gender activist group Sisters Keeper.
In a statement yesterday, Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho
Nxumalo said Malephane would be charged for contravening prison rules. Malephane received a 20-year jail term after he admitted to being offered R70 000 to kill the 28-year-old, heavily pregnant Pule last year.
“This is a disturbing development as mobile phones are a contraband. It is also a point of interest to us a department to ascertain how the inmate managed to access this mobile phone,” Nxumalo said.
Nxumalo said the department would leave no stone unturned in trying to figure out who had given Malephane the cellphone.
“Those smuggling mobile phones into our centres must be dealt with harshly.”
The DA’s James Selfe said he was outraged by the incident because of the high-profile case that Malephane was involved in. He said in most instances prison officials were involved in the smuggling of cellphones in prison.
“They get cellphones because people take them into prison and most of the time these are prison officials across the board. People must be told they can’t take cellphones inside the prison whether official or not. They (inmates) call me sometime from inside prison looking for help and they want parole and intervention,” Selfe said.
He said a few days ago, officials found around 17 cellphones in a ceiling of a cell in a Springs prison and no one knew how they got there.
The Star understands that in some cells prisoners would even have a plug where they can charge their phone once officials are off duty.
“Nowadays prisoners are well off from proceeds of crime and they can make it worthwhile for the prison officials,” he said.
According to Selfe, the government spends around R350 per day on each prisoner.
“Its not a holiday overseas but if you are used to nothing then its not a bad life.”
On the other hand, Self said he was concerned about the poor hygiene conditions for prisoners. He said most of the time prisoners would have to buy their own toiletries because they got minimum poor-quality toiletries from correctional services.
He said there were bank accounts where prisoners can receive money from loved ones to buy themselves proper toiletry.
– Pretoria news