Parliamentary Question: DCS: Operation Vala



Mr J Selfe (DA) to ask the Minister of Correctional Services:
(1)Whether any security weaknesses were discovered in any correctional centres as a result of Operation Vala, which commenced on 29 October 2010; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;

(2)(a) what was the cost of Operation Vala and (b) how were these costs calculated?

(1)The focus of Operation Vala which commenced on 29 November 2010 for until 17 January 2011 was to ensure that the following principles were adhered to;
identification of high risk awaiting trial detainees and that they are incarcerated in suitable facilities
contingency plans around security operations were in place
conduct announced and unannounced day and night visits to the institutions by senior officials
increase and intensify visitor searches at exit and entry points
minimisation of movement of high risk inmates
movement of offenders out of Correctional Centres be limited to only essential services
irregular and special searching actions are conducted

The programme has been successful over the past six (6) years; as the numbers of security incidents were drastically reduced.

An aspect of concern for the department was that despite continuous measures to stop the influx of unauthorised articles into centres; many such items were still obtained in a number centres during random search operations conducted during Operation Vala period. This aspect is receiving continued attention in the strategies of the department to ensure safe correctional environment.
(2)(a) and (b)

No isolated costs were allocated for Operation Vala programme as it is the integral part of the normal security operations of the department.