The acting National Commissioner, Makgothi Thobakgale and Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West (LMN) Regional Commissioner, Tlabo Thokolo, led a multidisciplinary team comprised of the Polokwane Emergency Support Team (EST) and South African Police Service (SAPS) members on a surprise security search operation dubbed the ‘Operation Black Eagle’ at Polokwane Correctional Centre on Saturday, 09 October 2021. Accompanied by Polokwane Area Commissioner, Ms Lydia Mamabolo, the team searched A-Unit, C-Unit, G-Unit and the kitchen unit between 19h00 – 23h00, and confiscated various contrabands.
Acting National Commissioner Thobakgale congratulated the team, and thanked the SAPS, for heeding the call to support the search operation. “It is always good to work together, we need each other and we are still going to work together in many operations as we strive for a free contraband environment at all centres,” he said. He commended the team for the expert skills, good communication and professionalism they displayed during the search.
Regional Commissioner (RC) Thokolo also congratulated the team for carrying out a successful operation. “Officials should know that the more contrabands we confiscate, we are sending a message that we are not doing well to ensure that our environment is free of contrabands, and the lesser contrabands we confiscate means that we are doing well from a security standpoint,” he posited. The operation resulted in the confiscation of 13 cell phones, seven (7) cell phone chargers, one (1) memory card, one (1) sim card, four (4) balls of dagga, two (2) crystal bompies, one (1) headphone and 2.5 litres of self-made beer.
On Sunday, 10 October 2021, the DCS entourage visited Bahlaloga Royal House in Moletjie, to meet with His Majesty, Kgoshi Kgabo Moloto who oversees 158 villages. After the introductions, the acting National Commissioner outlined the programmes rendered by the Department, particularly Community Corrections which works to ensures the successful reintegration of offenders into communities. To this end, Thobakgale indicated that the Department is seeking to forge good relations with traditional leaders. He went on to mention that offenders are trained on different skills in DCS facilities, which can assist in community development projects such as cleaning schools, clinics and refurbishment of dilapidated infrastructure.
The Royal family was presented with fresh vegetables planted by offenders, to demonstrate some of the skills offenders acquire during their incarceration. Hugely pleased with the gift from DCS, Kgoshi Moloto said that he wants parolees to utilise the skills acquired in DCS for the benefit of the village once they are released. “When you train them like this, it shows that you are doing a good job and they must show us that indeed they are rehabilitated. We will give them land to plant vegetables so they can sustain themselves,’’ he committed. The Chief agreed with acting National Commissioner Thobakgale that traditional leaders have a critical role to play in the social reintegration of parolees. “We can give parolees piece jobs, and the message will be cascaded to all the villages to welcome DCS and their parolees,” he said.
Kgoshi Moloto concluded by expressing gratitude for the visit and the excellent work being done by Community Corrections in his villages, and pledged to fortify the relationship with DCS moving forward.