The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Justice Portfolio Committee, Mathole Motshekga MP, to request that he summon the acting national Justice and Correctional Services Commissioner, Mandla Mkabela, to urgently brief the committee on what steps the department is taking to tighten security in prisons.

Less than a month after six inmates broke out of Pollsmoor prison in the Western Cape, it was reported this week that 16 prisoners had escaped from Johannesburg Correctional Centre, known as ‘Sun City’ prison. These escapes are concerning and have exposed weaknesses in the country’s prison system.

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha, must also account for why there has not been a permanent appointment made in the position of national Justice and Correctional Services Commissioner since Zach Modise retired in mid-2017.

Parliament is empowered to intervene when national departments are failing to carry out their mandated duties and there appears to be a trend of prison escapes which needs to be addressed immediately.

The DA will support Parliament in its role of holding public representatives accountable for their departments’ shortcomings.

It is vital that we get answers about the recent prison escapes and ensure greater security at the country’s correctional institutions.

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