31 July 2017

Swaziland: 'Jail Warders Sell Prisoners Drugs'

New allegations have surfaced about corruption in Swaziland's jails. Warders are reportedly selling drugs to inmates. This comes after a report that warders also smuggled alcohol into jail for prisoners.

The latest claim was reported by the Swazi Observer on Thursday (27 July 2017). The newspaper said dagga (marijuana) was sold at Bhalekane Correctional Centre.

It quoted a former inmate it called 'Mkhonta' who said there was a dagga field close to the correctional facility and it was easy to get the drug. He said, 'You can even get dagga that weighs 5kg if you have the money for it.'

The Observer reported, 'According to Mkhonta there is a smoke that fills the Bhalekane facility cells daily produced by the dagga that is being smoked inside the dorms.

'"To most it seems like there is fire being burning from outside, I am sure the first thought that comes to a passer-by's mind when they see it, is that the prison is on fire yet it is from smoking," he said.'

Correctional Services spokesperson Superintendent Gugulethu Dlamini told the newspaper it was impossible for officers to sneak drugs into the facility. She added, 'Even if the officers can follow the smell of the dagga being smoked, it can be hard to tell exactly who was smoking.'

The allegation came only weeks after a report that there had been a cover-up at Sidwashini women's jail where a senior officer had allegedly been illegally supplying alcohol to inmates.

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