The Drakenstein Prison in Paarl, Boland, was raided overnight in an effort to combat rising levels of crime inside the prison during the holiday season.
The operation was led by the national Correctional Service Commissioner, Makgothi Thobakgale, who arrived at Drakenstein Prison unannounced, and was carried out by officials from the Department of Correctional Services (DCS).
They seized illegal substances as well as electrical wires, cell phones, chargers, and cash.
Thobakgale says the search focused on sections considered hotspots where inmates serving long sentences for serious crimes are housed.
Thobagale says documents that these prisoners usually keep may shed light on plans to escape.
“To search the sections that are housing maximum offenders, to look for unlawful substances and objects, but most importantly to also check the documents that our offenders normally keep, we find records of some transactions, but we are also looking at (phone) messages that might be communicating plans for escapes,” says Thobakgale.