South African prison warder commits suicide after photos showing her hugging and kissing an inmate went viral (photos)
A prison warder whose photos showing her hugging and kissing an inmate committed suicide on Monday, after the images went viral on social media.
Four pictures showing the unidentified female prison warder from the Losperfontein Correctional Service Centre near Brits in North West posing in uniform with a male prisoner were shared by Facebook and Twitter users yesterday.
This was brought to the department’s attention which later confirmed in a statement that the prison warder had committed suicide.
The department said it had launched an internal investigation into the matter. The regional commissioner for North West, Mandla Mkhabela, said they had learnt with shock that the warder committed suicide as they were investigating the images.
Mkhabela said the behaviour of engaging with inmates in that manner was not allowed.
“This is disturbing and strictly prohibited. The department condemns this in the strongest possible terms,” he said.
In one of the images, the two are seen kissing in a picture that seems to have been taken by the male inmate. The pictures were seemingly taken by cellphone, but it’s unclear where they were taken.
According to The Sowetan, the warder was found hanging at her place of residence in the staff quarters at the prison.
The SA Depression And Anxiety Group operations director Cassey Chambers said:
“With social media anything goes viral so quickly and you find people who have no relation to the matter making comments and sharing it. That puts on added pressure and cyberbullying. as it could be a last straw. Maybe she thinks there would be an impact on family.”
Refer to the statement issued by the Department of Correctional Services, below:
IMAGES OF CORRECTIONAL OFFICIAL AND INMATE CIRCULATING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has been made aware of images involving an official and inmate, from Losperfontein Correctional Centre, in an intimate position circulating on social media.
As this is disturbing and strictly prohibited, the Department condemns this type of behaviour in the strongest possible terms.
Whilst DCS was busy investigating this matter, we have since learnt with shock that the official allegedly appearing on the images has committed suicide.
DCS Regional Commissioner for Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West, Mr. Mandla Mkabela, has expressed grief and sadness at the incident. ”On behalf of DCS, we want to convey our condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased official. We have dispatched a team of senior managers and our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) specialists to provide necessary support”.