31 officials of George Correctional Centre found guilty
25 Nov 2010
Thirty-one Correctional officials of the George Correctional Centre were found guilty after 38 officials were charged for unprofessional conduct, gross negligence and flouting of basic security procedures.
These officials were investigated and charged following a series of incidents that started with the stabbing of an official by an offender during the opening of cells in the morning of 7 January 2009. The offender that stabbed an official was subdued by other officials who allegedly assaulted him and launched an un-procedural search operation across all cells looking for illegal weapons and substances.
The series of disciplinary hearings that began in 2009 and had to face a number of challenges that included two labour court application for their scrapping, were concluded on 24 November 2010.
One official was found guilty of gross negligence after failing to ensure that the 36 year old offender Charles Thompson received urgent medical attention when he complained in the evening. He was dismissed with his dismissal also confirmed by the arbitration hearing. It is believed that the inmate might not have passed on had he received the requisite medical attention when he complained,
One official who is the head of the centre was found guilty of flouting basic security procedures and was given a suspension without salary for one month as an alternative to dismissal,
One official allegedly key to the incident passed on before appearing in the disciplinary hearing, and
29 officials charged for unprofessional conduct were found guilty and given written warnings.
Two officials that include the Area Commissioner of George Management Area and a nurse were found not guilty.
The department condemns all forms of violence (whether by inmates on officials or by officials on inmates), negligence and unprofessional conduct as these threaten delivery on our core mandate of ensuring safe custody. The incident and passing on of the offender were reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS) who are conducting an investigation and also to the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services.
Cell: 083 626 0304
Issued by: Department of Correctional Services
25 Nov 2010
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