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G4S Mangaung prison hit by mass suspensions and sudden resignations amid Bester probes

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These revelations come just after media reports this past week, revealed that there was a sex ring and poison syndicate linked to the all influential Bester, who was said to be living a lavish lifestyle while inside prison.

The Mangaung’s G4S Correctional Facility in Bloemfontein has been hit by alleged mass suspensions and resignations allegedly linked to the infamous Thabo Bester prison escape in 2022. African News Agency (ANA)

These revelations come just after media reports this past week, revealed that there was a sex ring and poison syndicate linked to the all influential Bester, who was said to be living a lavish lifestyle while inside prison.

THE Mangaung’s G4S Correctional Facility in Bloemfontein has been hit by alleged mass suspensions and resignations allegedly linked to the infamous Thabo Bester prison escape in 2022 as well as recent revelations of a sex ring and poison syndicate, all pointing towards Bester.

This is according to various named and unnamed sources close to the situation.

These revelations come just after media reports this past week, revealed that there was a sex ring and poison syndicate linked to the all influential Bester, who was said to be living a lavish lifestyle while inside prison.

These allegations come at time that Bester and some of his co-accused are set to appear before the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein for the resumption of his pre-trial hearing on February 21.

According to a source, Thandi Ntshala, who was the supervisor of Ryhill unit, was suspended last week for smuggling. This suspension comes hot on the heels of a recent suspension of two other male prison officials identified as Mr Zama and Mr Oscar who were last December, reportedly suspended also for smuggling.

According to this source, these are not the only suspensions and unexplained resignations at the facility.

“I have been told that another other male official, Mr Max was suspended also last week – all these three officials are DSO. These are the junior officials within DCS (Department of Correctional Services) who wear code of arm uniforms.

“I have been informed that they suspended these officials because of this sex scandal. This also includes Lindiwe Diba, a female DSO of Buckley hall unit, and Maine Lebuso custody officer of visitation, Palesa Leholi supervisor of the Wolds unit, Thandi Ntsala supervisor of Rryhill unit.

“Mr Oscar was suspended for smuggling with inmates dagga, food, a well as doing money laundering and smuggling alcohol inside prison, while another official, Zama DSO of the Ryhill unit was suspended also of smuggling dagga, food and alcohol inside prison, and also Mr Max another Ryhill unit DSO, who was suspended also of smuggling boxer shorts underwear inside prison,” the source said.

As a way to save face, G4S Mangaung is said to be scrambling to find replacements for the avalanche of recent suspensions.

“Now they are hiring the unqualified employees with no experience, nothing, just close the gap no proper training even in the office of est is new officials young boys that thing is putting inmates life in danger they can’t handle this prison no experience,” this unnamed source revealed.

Another source revealed that some of the former DCS officials who negotiated the G4S contract, resigned and later joined G4S after securing lucrative packages.

“When G4S negotiated the contract with DCS, the very same members who negotiated this contract later on resigned from DCS and joined this company for packages and everything. So now, with everything going on, their monies are not able to assist them. So now before things get out of hand, they have seen that it is better they jumped ship,” the source said.

The suspensions were also confirmed by activist, Golden Miles Bhudu, who said he is concerned over the alleged suspensions.

“Yes. I know of these suspensions where four members from the G4S, especially females, were dismissed. One supervisor, Thandi was dismissed last week for dating and sharing naked pictures with inmates. Two or three other females are reported to have shared a video while they were naked. And another who is said to have been in possession of inmate bank card and withdraw R70,000 instead of the agreement of R12,000,” Bhudu told The Star.

Speaking to The Star, Glynnis Marriday, manager at prisons rights organisation Exclusive Mediators, said having heard about these latest developments, she is concerned about recent reports.

“These resignations of officials are raising questions as to why the sudden increase of staff resignations over such a short period of time. Are these members involved in corrupt activities, or are they merely embarrassed to be working for G4S and no longer want to be associated with the prison,” she said.

A G4S Care and Justice spokesperson said: “We cannot share any information with regards to specific employees. However, none of these resignations are linked to Mr Bester’s prison escape. The resignations you refer to are not unusual for the sector, nor for the size of our employee base. In addition, the majority of these were due to employees retiring, leaving for health reasons or to pursue other career opportunities.”

Attempts to get comment from Correctional Services Department spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo, were unsuccessful at the time of publication.

The Star

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