Dagga found in handbag at correctional centre, warden arrested

  • A female correctional centre warden was arrested for possession of dagga in her handbag on Friday.
  • The drugs were discovered during a morning parade.
  • Police said when the warden was questioned over where her handbag was, she could not give a proper explanation.

A 43-year-old female warden was arrested for possession of dagga on Friday after the facility manager arrived at the correctional centre in Mbombela to conduct a morning parade where all employees had to report for duty.

During the parade, the facility manager and her team announced that, according to the procedures of the Correctional Services Department, no employee is allowed to enter the premises with a handbag or grocery bag unless transparent for everyone to see the items inside.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, everyone at the parade was informed a search and seizure would be conducted to prevent possible drug smuggling.

“As the search and seizure was carried out, the said warden reportedly tried to hide her handbag, however she was noticed. She allegedly ran from the parade to her office, where she hid her handbag and went out to another office,” said Mohlala.

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Police said the members conducting the search then followed her to her office and could not find her there.

She was found her in another office instead.

After being questioned over why she left the parade without permission, she allegedly indicated she was rushing for her duties.

“She was asked about her handbag which she hid in her office but she could not give a proper explanation as to where the bag was. The team then searched her office and found a bag stashed with dagga weighing 0.186 grams to the estimated street value of about R1 500, as well as a cellphone,” Mohlala said.

The warden denied knowledge of the dagga and was arrested. A case of illegal possession of dagga was opened.

The warden is expected to appear before Bethal Magistrate’s Court soon.

Provincial commissioner in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the arrest of the suspect and also urged all law enforcement officials to always set an example in upholding the law.