Correctional Services acting national commissioner James Smalberg apologised on Monday after images of Johannesburg Medium Security prisoners with strippers did the rounds on social media over the weekend.
He said the June 16 entertainment that caused the uproar was not approved.
"On behalf of the Correctional Services, we want to apologise to the citizens of South Africa", said Smalberger.
Images of "half naked women" mingling with prisoners from Sun City went viral on social media, of what appears to be a provocative entertainment show at Sun City prison in Naturena, Johannesburg.
"Thirteen officials will receive contemplation suspension letters. We have beefed up the investigation, and we shall give the investigation team appropriate time", Smalberger said at a press briefing.
"The images were taken during an event related to June 16, but this form of entertainment was not however approved", he said.
Smalberger told the media that prisons usually have events in which they do for the prisoners, but condemned this one.
He also mentioned that they will give the accused a chance why they should not be suspended, once the investigation has concluded. If found guilty the 13 accused will face charges. Smalberger said the next report will come on 30 June to give an indication of when the investigation will be completed.
People on social media were unimpressed, to say the least.
Wow! what a WOW! #PrisonStrippers is a slap in the face of the victims + slap in the face of Taxpayers... Rehabilitation? nah fam 💁🙆♀— Tracy Tee Ndhlovu (@TracyNdhlovu) June 26, 2017
Clearly prison in South Africa is an all expenses paid holiday on an exotic island and not a place of rehabilitation. #PrisonStrippers— Laurika Nxumalo (@LaurikaMaZwide) June 26, 2017
Some taxpayers felt injustice from government when they saw the treatment of prisoners and were livid.
Some citizens found the incident humorous.