11 June 2021 - NW1200
Msimang, Prof CT to ask the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
(1)Whether, in light of the popular Netflix documentary series titled Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons, whose Season 5 featured a hard look inside the Brandvlei Correctional Centre in the Western Cape that is home to the notorious number gangs, he has been informed of the show as it portrays to the world a daily account of the lives of the inmates at the prison; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (2) whether his department has done anything to address the challenges that the wardens are faced with at this particular centre and others like it; if not, why not; if so, what are the further relevant details?
1. Permission to access to Correctional Centres is permitted under section 99 of the Correctional Services Act, 111 of 1998. This section must be read together with Section 123 which relates to prohibited publication. The Department has a gang combating strategy in place to deal with gangsterism in our facilities.
In the case of the mentioned documentary, permission was granted during 2019 for filming of the documentary at the Brandvlei Correctional Centre, filming then commenced in January 2020.
2. Yes, It is also common practice for the Department to provide qualified Employee Assistance Practitioners (EAP) to officials. Group awareness and therapy programmes are regularly presented to correctional officials. Individual consultations are also arranged for officials who are either referred to the EAP for debriefing or through voluntary personal requests. In the event that further assistance and intervention is required, the cases are referred to external practitioners.