South African prison officials suspended 13 managers and lower ranking officials on Monday after women in black body suits and knee high boots were photographed cavorting with inmates in a steamy strip show at one of Johannesburg’s most notorious prisons.
Images circulated on social media show various guards standing watch as three strippers perform seductive dances and undress and embrace an inmate dressed in an orange prison overall at the Johannesburg Correctional Centre.
Prison officials called a press conference to say that the photographs, taken at an event on June 21 are “authentic” and that those involved had been served with suspension letters.
Prisons commissioner James Smalberger said at a press conference that the officials include top management at the prison, which inmates jokingly refer to as “Sun City”.
“The intention was never to have strippers in the facility‚” Acting National Correctional Services Commissioner James Smalberger told a news briefing.
“That is unacceptable and we cannot tolerate that at all.
“I want to give assurance that‚ based on our briefing and our visit to the place where this happened‚ is that there is no taxpayer money involved in this ‘entertainment’‚” he said.
“Thirteen of our officials will be contemplated for suspension if they were found to have flouted departmental rules‚” he said.
“We will hear on Friday what the status of the investigation is.”
Six items were approved Youth Day events but the female dancers was not cleared by the department, Mr Smalberger said.
“On behalf of correctional services, we would like to apologise to the citizens of South Africa for this incident, which is indeed disturbing.
“We will make sure that those found to be guilty face the full consequences of their actions, and measures will be put in place to make sure similar incident do not happen again.”