Deputy Justice and Correctional Services Minister Thabang Makwetla yesterday briefly shared the recommendations of an internal probe into a fatal clash between prisoners and wardens at St Albans prison outside Port Elizabeth three months ago.
Mayhem broke out at the prison on December 26, leaving three people dead and 26 injured.
In the wake of the incident, the department launched an investigation.
During a media briefing at St Albans, Makwetla said offenders had gone “on a wholesale stabbing spree”.
“The investigation recommended that officials in a key area of responsibility where this incident occurred under their supervision, must be moved around,” he said.
The inmates behind the attack have also been transferred to other correctional facilities, pending further investigation.
The report also highlighted the acute staff shortage in the department and the need to prioritise the situation at St Albans.
Makwetla said laxity surrounding the implementation of security operations was one big lesson that his department had learnt from the fracas.
“It’s a matter which the national commissioner has taken seriously. If those offenders involved were searched before being taken out of their cells, possibly that unfortunate incident would not have happened.
“There have been a number of breaches lately as result of laxity,” he said.
Makwetla said staff were not dealing with easy challenges and only after an unfortunate incident there was “wisdom to appreciate that they should have applied a different approach”.