Cape Town – G4S, the security company that was managing the Mangaung prison where convicted murderer and “Facebook rapist” Thabo Bester was imprisoned before he escaped, has reportedly said that it will no longer invest in correctional services in South Africa.
“G4S notes the department of correctional services has issued a notice of termination to Bloemfontein Correctional Contracts (BCC), a private company that has held the contract to manage the Mangaung Correctional Centre since 2000.
“Over the past 22 years, the correctional centre has had a strong track record and has been recognised as a well-run centre by a number of independent oversight bodies including the Human Rights Commission and the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services which, in October 2022, assigned it the highest possible rating for a correctional centre,” Times Live quoted G4S as saying.
Earlier this week, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) issued a statement announcing that it was terminating its contract with G4S after seeking legal opinion.
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The DCS said a termination notice of 90 days had been given to Bloemfontein Correctional Services (BCC), adding that the department would immediately resume with an internal exercise for the takeover process.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola said they believed that G4S breached the terms of the contract after Bester escaped from prison, reported IOL.
The report said the contract was set to end in 2026 and cost the government an estimated R1 billion a year, paying G4S R45 million a month to operate Mangaung Correctional Centre.
The security company said it will continue to co-operate with the department and ensure an orderly transition.
Meanwhile, two more former G4S employees who were dismissed after Bester escaped were arrested at their place of residence in Bloemfontein on Monday.
So far eight suspects including four former G4S employees, Dr Nandipha Magudumana and her father, Zolile Sekeleni, have been arrested in connection with Bester’s escape.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe