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About a week before new justice & correctional services minister Ronald Lamola embarked on a public relations visit to the Brandvlei Correctional Centre, a video emerged that allegedly showed inmates fighting at Durban’s Westville prison — using batons seemingly provided by wardens. Another video reportedly showed inmates snorting cocaine in the prison, one of the "big five" notorious correctional facilities in SA.

The videos made for the kind of headlines Lamola bemoaned during his visit to Brandvlei, a so-called new-age facility set in the picturesque area between Worcester and Rawsonville in the Western Cape. A rainbow made an appearance on the day, hanging over the prison...

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