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Warden, civilian who allegedly tried to smuggle drugs into Westville Prison released

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Published Jan 18, 2022

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Durban: The National Prosecuting Authority said the case in which a prison warden and a private citizen were charged for allegedly trying to smuggle contraband into Westville Prison had not been enrolled in court due to insufficient evidence.

“For a matter to be enrolled there must be sufficient evidence as well as prospects of a successful prosecution,” NPA spokesperson in KwaZulu Natal Natasha Kara said.

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Police in KZN said the duo, aged 24 and 45, faced a charge of possession of drugs and were expected to appear in the Pinetown magistrates court on Monday, following their arrest over the weekend.

Department of correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said a vehicle with two occupants was stopped by the patrolling officials at about 1.18am on January 15.

“One person opted to flee, evading the officials who were closing in. The driver of the vehicle (private citizen) was eventually apprehended. He disclosed the identity of his associate as a Department of Correctional Services (DCS) official,” Nxumalo said.

The vehicle was searched and a cellphone, charger, three parcels of dagga, 924 capsules of whoonga and 50 white tablets were found.

Later that morning, at around 8am, day shift officials were alerted to screams for help inside the stormwater drainage at the centre.

“Upon inspection, the emergency support team of the DCS and SAPS (South Africa Police Service) found a correctional services official trapped inside the stormwater drainage which he had used as a hideout,” Nxumalo said.

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“The official was arrested and a consignment containing mandrax capsules, mobile phones with earphones, cellphone chargers, 34 Sim cards, 669 whoonga stopes, 1.18kg dagga and other illegal items were discovered.”

Nxumalo said the department was committed to ensuring contraband-free prisons.

“DCS would like to reiterate its call: errant officials involved in the smuggling of contraband shall never be spared any mercy,” he said.

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