The department of correctional services said it has identified the suspected creator of a “fake” video depicting three inmates assaulting a prison warder and that it has approached the police to prosecute the person responsible.
In a statement on Sunday, the department said it was aware of a video making the rounds on social media, “depicting three inmates assaulting an official and an inmate carrying a gun and a knife”.
“DCS can categorically state that this is all an act and nothing closer to reality,” said correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.
“The person behind the videos has been identified and the department is engaging with the SAPS for the law to take its course,” he said in the statement.
Nxumalo said the videos contravene section 124 of the Correctional Services Act which states that “any unauthorised person who wears or uses the departmental uniform, distinctive badge or insignia of the department or of a custody official or anything deceptively resembling them is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to such imprisonment without the option of a fine or both”.
The Department of Correctional Services says “this is all an act and nothing closer to reality.” pic.twitter.com/CmAUFnXq2g
— Sisonke Mlamla (@SISONKE_MD) April 11, 2021
He said section 125 of the act also says any person “masquerading as a correctional or custody official” is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to such imprisonment without the option of a fine, or both.
“The department of correctional services never granted any permission for the production of these videos; hence the resolve to embark on legal processes in dealing with those behind them,” said Nxumalo.
He said the department had processes in place for creative artists to approach them to use its uniform or property.
“These requests are processed internally and can only be approved by the national commissioner and such work must be in the interests of justice and rehabilitation of inmates,” said Nxumalo.
“The videos currently making rounds are an attack on Correctional Services and also undermine the authority of the state,” he said.
“We view this in a very serious light, as it may have serious consequences for our officials and inmates,” said Nxumalo.
by Aron Hyman