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PRESENTATION TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

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PRESENTATION TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
QALAKABUSHA and GROOTE SCHUUR INCIDENTS
Introduction to Central Services Branch
Building
MAY
2008 a caring correctional system that truly belongs to all
Presented by;
Regional Commissioner: Western Cape
JG Smalberger
1
PURPOSE OF THE PRESENTATION


To brief the Portfolio Committee on:
Qalakabusha and Groote Schuur Incidents
QALAKABUSHA INCIDENT
BACKGROUND
 4 August 2007 ten (10) inmates escaped from Qalakabusha Correctional
Centre
 Escape reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS) at Empangeni
 Preliminary investigation was conducted by the Regional Office, KwaZuluNatal (KZN)
 18 officials were suspended based on suspicion of gross negligence and
possible collusion with inmates
 Departmental Investigations Unit (DIU) of the DCS investigated the matter
 Suspension of four (4) officials uplifted on 15 August 2008
 Investigation finalized by DIU and report with findings and
recommendations produced
THE ESCAPEES
 Nine (9) inmates that escaped were from unit 12 and one (1) from unit
16A. They were:
пѓј Thilili Mzimela,
пѓј Mzwenhlanhla Sikhosana,
пѓј Ndoda Sibusiso,
пѓј Mkhosi Mdluli,
пѓј Sipho Buthelezi,
пѓј Petros Sibiya,
пѓј Blessed Khanyile,
пѓј Mbuyazi Mkwanazi,
пѓј Xolani Ngobese and
пѓј Phlwanhlanhla Mbatha.
FINDINGS
 Ten (10) inmates escaped from Qalakabusha Correctional Centre on
4 August 2007 at about 12h00 midday.
 They moved through all gates without any hindrance, cut the
diamond mesh of a passage and cut the wire fence.
 Officials were found to have been grossly negligent for the following
reasons:
 Failing to ensure that all critical posts were manned
 Allowing inmates to leave units without reason; without being
identified; without being searched and without being escorted
 Allowing inmates to have security equipment (two-way radios) in
their possession
 Leaving inmates unlocked for undetermined periods of time
 Failing to search or ensure proper searching of inmates
FINDINGS
 Failing to visit (and do inspection) inside the centre in terms of the policy
 Failing to report for duty on time
 Failing to ensure that a parade or assembly is held to ensure that all staff
are on duty
 Negligently opening the gates for the ten inmates
 Using inmates to call other inmates for their visitors
RECOMMENDATIONS

The following recommendations were made:
 Formal disciplinary steps be taken against the Head of Security, Head of
the Centre, Unit Managers for unit 12 and 16A, officials operating the main control,
officials responsible for the sally port, searching of inmates and locking gates
 The evaluation of the post establishment of the Centre for both during the week and
weekends
 The Head of Centre to ensure that all panels in the Centre are manned and operated
according to the policies and procedures of the Department
 The Head of Centre to ensure that parades / assemblies are held before the start of
every shift
 The Head of Centre to ensure that staff is properly trained on all panels
 The Head of Centre to ensure that the electricity fence is switched on at all times
RECOMMENDATIONS
 The security of the Centre be assessed with specific reference to the
following:
# Possible replacement of the diamond mesh in the passage with a
more secure material
# Erecting a fence on the outside of the current fence to keep public away
from the security fence and for safer and easier patrolling
# Erecting tower posts around the Centre
# Building a new visitor’s facility on the outsdie of the entrance to ensure
control of visitors
# Placing CCTV cameras in passage and areas with security risk
# Development of a security-compliant system to address the calling of
inmates who have visitors
STATUS OF DISCIPLINARY STEPS AGAINST
OFFICIALS
пЃ¶ Unit 12 disciplinary hearing
 Five officials charged for gross negligence
 Three dismissed, one demoted and one acquitted
пЃ¶ Unit 16 disciplinary hearing
 Three officials charged for gross negligence
 All dismissed
пЃ¶ Main control disciplinary hearing
 Two officials have appealed against the sanction
 Both dismissed
STATUS OF DISCIPLINARY STEPS AGAINST
OFFICIALS
пЃ¶ Social worker disciplinary hearing
 One official charged for gross negligence
 Official acquitted
 Investigation into re-initiating the charges is underway
пЃ¶ Managers disciplinary hearing
 Two officials charged for gross negligence
 Matter not yet finalized – postponed to 19 May 2008
пЃ¶ Appeal matters
 Dismissed officials have appealed against the sanction
 Dismissal confirmed
CONCLUSION

Second phase of the investigation undertaken recommended
disciplinary hearing against two SMS members for gross negligence
and dereliction of duty
GROOTE SCHUUR INCIDENT
BACKGROUND

Lunga Luke was arrested in connection with a cash in transit
robbery as well as escaping from police custody on 30 October 2004
and admitted to Pollsmoor Admission Centre on 03 November 2004.

14 March 2005 Emergency Support Team (EST) members escorted
awaiting trial offender Lunga Luke to Groote Schuur hospital.

Whilst waiting in the reception area, the EST members were attacked
by unknown assailants.

The late Mr Horn, EST member was fatally injured and Mr M
Hendricks was wounded.
PRESENTATIONS TO THE PORTFOLIO
COMMITTEE

10 August 2005 a presentation was made to the Portfolio Committee
in a closed session.

On the 05 June 2007 an updated report was presented to the
Committee focusing on the:
 Administrative improvements implemented
 Disciplinary actions taken
 Report of SAPS

13 November 2007- Reported on as part of security incidents
presentation
INVESTIGATION

Departmental Investigation:
 Investigation team was appointed by the Regional
Commissioner: Western Cape
 The investigation was concluded on 09 May 2005

Findings:
- Offender (Lunga Luke) was escorted to Groote Schuur
hospital by the Emergency Support Team (EST) members for
a medical appointment.
- four (4) members escorted the offender in a panel van and
sedan to the Hospital.
- the members were in possession of bullet proof vests, but
did not wear them during the escorting of the offender.
- that the members were issued with 9mm pistols and an R4
rifle.
- the offender (Luke) was under the direct supervision of
Messrs. Horn and Hendricks inside the waiting / reception
area of the Hospital were the attack occurred and the
members were shot.
INVESTIGATION

Departmental Investigation and findings, continue:
 one of the attackers allegedly was carrying an AK47 rifle and was
firing shots at them.
 that the officials prevented the Awaiting Trial Detainee from
being freed by unknown attackers.
 the incident was also criminally investigated by SAPS.
 awaiting trial detainees are admitted with limited information on
their committal warrant.
INVESTIGATION

Disciplinary Actions:
 Eight (08) members were disciplinarily charged of which:
 two (02) were found guilty and received serious written
warnings
 three (03) officials had their case withdrawn,
 one (01) was acquitted,
 one (01) was dismissed on another unrelated case
 one (01) passed away before the finalization of the case.
REMEDIAL ACTIONS, cont

Stakeholder Interaction:
 meeting with Groote Schuur hospital
 interactions with SAPS
 Service Level Agreement was signed with Provincial Health
Department
REMEDIAL ACTIONS, cont

Service Level Agreement:




inform hospital in advance of high risk offenders
reduce the treatment of minor medical cases at Hospitals
strict confidential handling of appointments.
high risk offenders are held in separate designated areas at the
hospital
 improved security at Hospitals
REMEDIAL ACTIONS

Internal remedial Actions:
 the files of high profile offenders are marked in red when
admitted.
 offender Lunga Luke was transferred to a maximum detention
centre.
 nominated officials liaise personally with hospitals for
appointments.
 effective interaction with security agencies.
 emergency Support Teams (EST) receive refresher training and
ordered to wear bullet proof vests .
 high Profile offenders are escorted and accompanied by EST
members to hospitals.
 affected officials were referred for debriefing sessions.
PENDING MATTERS

Criminal charges

Claims against the Department
THANK YOU
Introduction to Central Services Branch
Building a caring correctional system that truly belongs to all
Presented by;
21
Regional Commissioner: Western Cape
JG Smalberger
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