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South African Prison Guards Face Suspension Over Strip Show

South African prison officials said on Monday they were considering suspending 13 guards after one of the country's high security jails held an "explicit" strip show for inmates last week.

AFP

Updated:June 26, 2017, 8:24 PM IST
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South African Prison Guards Face Suspension Over Strip Show
Officials said the pictures were taken during an event on June 21 at the notorious Johannesburg Correctional Centre, most commonly know as "Sun City". (Image: Reuters)
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Johannesburg: South African prison officials said on Monday they were considering suspending 13 guards after one of the country's high security jails held an "explicit" strip show for inmates last week.

The announcement was made after racy pictures of prisoners in orange uniforms, some bare-chested, standing with scantily-dressed women in black corsets and knee-high heeled boots went viral on social media over the weekend.

Officials said the pictures were taken during an event on June 21 at the notorious Johannesburg Correctional Centre, most commonly know as "Sun City".

"After a preliminary investigation ... at least 13 official will be served with letters of contemplation of suspension," acting Correctional Services commissioner James Smalberger told reporters.

Smalberger said the event at the prison outside Soweto was part of youth month celebrations and blamed the show on an external organiser.

"The explicit entertainment was a clear breach of security and this type of conduct is unacceptable," Smalberger said.

One saucy photo showed two women touching and hugging a bare-chested inmate wearing just orange prisoner pants in front of a large group of applauding inmates.

Prison guards could be seen in some of the photographs.

The prison houses some of South Africa's most dangerous criminals, convicted for murder, robbery and rape.

"The department condemns the incident with the contempt it deserves, including the explicit nature of the entertainment," Smalberger said.

However, Smalberger's critical comments were not enough to pacify public anger.

The "#PrisonStrippers" hashtag trended on Twitter for the better part of Monday morning, as people expressed shock over the pictures.

"So some prisoners are put in prison for assaulting women and then they get a strip show on Youth Day," tweeted law student Luke Waltham.

"I thought this was fake news, but apparently not. It's an outrage and a slap in the face to victims of crime", said SAcrimefighters.

South African jails are notorious for overcrowding and gang violence but often hold events such as family days which include sports and entertainment by fellow inmates.

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