The IFP has reliably learnt that a Department of Correctional Services employee in Westville Prison has been diagnosed with Covid 19 virus driving the whole prison into a frenzy. A member whose name is known to IFP is said to have absconded from a hospital after his diagnosis. He allegedly assumed his duties, until a doctor who tested him alarmed the institution about the Covid status of this member. The member who is currently under quarantine together with other employees reside in Single Quarters which are located within the prison. This residence is home to about 60 members who share same ablution facilities. It is alleged that part of Medium B correctional centre has been closed disinfection.
During our Porfolio meeting in KZN Legislature we questioned the safety of correctional services employees but we were told by the department of Community Safety and Liaison in the province that the national department of correctional Services is responsible for the safety of these institutions.
The IFP believes this is recklessness and negligence of the highest level to play with essential workers lives who most of them are breadwinners by not providing them with adequate PPE and other safety measures. These workers will also infect their families resulting in uncontrollable infections.
We call upon our government to urgently attend to the issue of Westville Prison and other prisons in the province before it reaches catastrophic levels.
Contact: Mr M.B Gwala, MPL
IFP Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison in KZN