Cape Town – The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has cut ties with G4S, a security company managing the Mangaung prison where Thabo Bester was imprisoned before he escaped.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the DCS said the decision fell in line with the concession agreement and a termination notice of 90 days has been given to Bloemfontein Correctional Services (BCC).
BCC subcontracted G4S to oversee security at the Mangaung prison.
“The notice of termination follows the announcement on 20 April 2023 by DCS that it had refereed its contract with BCC for a legal opinion. It has been deemed that BCC is neither competent, nor suitable to continue with the concession contract.
“DCS will immediately resume with an internal exercise for the takeover process. The contract does lay down a procedure to be followed in this regard,” the DCS said.
While briefing the National Assembly on correctional services on Tuesday, 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.
For Immediate Release
2 May 2023
MEDIA ADVISORY: DCS TO TERMINATE CONCESSION CONTRACT AT BLOEMFONTEIN CORRECTIONAL CENTRE pic.twitter.com/m2LUtPBx6j
— Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services 🇿🇦 (@Min_JCS) May 2, 2023
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.
Meanwhile, two more former G4S employees who were dismissed after Bester escaped were arrested at their place of residence in Bloemfontein on Monday.
They “will appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 03 May 2023, on a charge of assisting an inmate to escape from lawful custody and defeating the ends of justice”, police said.
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