‘SA prisons need signal jamming devices’ – DA

FILE PICTURE: DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe. Picture: Sabrina Dean.

The department of Correctional Services is losing the battle against crime in prisons, the DA said.

This comes after the Minister of Correctional Services, Michael Masutha, replied to a DA parliamentary question, reporting that the department had confiscated 98 413 illegal communication devices from inside prisons in the past five years.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s James Selfe said the use of illegal communications devices in prisons makes prisons channels for the direct coordination of crimes in communities, particularly gang activity.

In the past five financial years, of the 98 413 devices a total of 64 123 cellular devices have been confiscated from remand detainees and convicted prisoners. Other communication devices include: sim cards, chargers and DSTV walkers.

“In the face of such high volume of illegal communications devices in prisons, it is astonishing that interventions such as signal jamming technology are not already in use in prisons.

“While the eventual detection of these devices is laudable, prevention is always better than cure – prison officials are clearly failing in this respect as well,” Selfe said.

Selfe has requested Minister Masutha to accelerate the procurement of signal jamming devices to be placed in the country’s prisons.

“If we can use signal jammers in Parliament why not in Pollsmoor?”

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