Grootvlei prisoners were taken by surprise by the visit of Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Thabang Makwetla.

He was conducting Operation Vala with the police and the Correctional Services Support Team. This is aimed at beefing up security and confiscating anything illegal in the cells.

Dangerous objects, dagga, cellphones were removed from prison cells.

“We have a responsibility as the Department of Correctional Services to ensure safe and secure custody to citizens who are in our correctional centres. It is in advancing this responsibility that we are having this visit here. It is happening, this exercise, in all the six regions of the department throughout the country,” says Makwetla.

The prisoners had a Q and A session with the deputy minister, complaining about the food and the sound system in the visiting area. One prisoner asked for a chess board saying he doesn’t like soccer.