SOCIAL media recently went abuzz over shocking videos of inmates overpowering prison officials.
In one video, the inmates can be seen overpowering an official while in another, an inmate pulls out a gun and knife.
But the Department of Correctional Services said the videos were nothing close to reality.
Correctional services spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo also condemned production of such videos, saying they undermined the authority of the department and state.
“These videos contravene Section 124 of the Correctional Services Act, Act 11 of 1998. It states that any unauthorised person who wears or uses departmental uniform, distinctive badge or insignia of the department or of a custody official, or anything deceptively resembling them, is guilty of an offence. It states that they are then 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,” said Nxumalo .
He said Section 125 proceeded to mention that any person masquerading as a correctional or custody official was guilty of an offence and liable 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 never granted any permission for the production of these videos, hence the resolve to embark on legal processes in dealing with those behind them,” he said.
Nxumalo said there were processes in place for creative artists to approach the department for the use of its uniform or property.
“These requests are processed internally and can only be approved by the national commissioner. Such work must be in the interests of justice and rehabilitation of inmates.”
He said they took the videos in a very serious light as they may have serious consequences for officials and inmates.
“The person behind the videos has been identified, and the department is engaging with the SAPS for the law to take its course.”