Minister warns officials against crime and corruption

Picture sourced from www.timeslive.co.za

Correctional services minister Sibusiso Ndebele has yet again warned Correctional Officials that crime and corruption will be rooted out.

Ndebele said the behavior of correctional officials has a direct influence on the lives of offenders.

“This noble profession of corrections has no place for criminals as the department of correctional services (DCS), we will fight fraud and corruption with vigor. We will root out criminal behavior amongst those who taint our standing, and reputation, in society,” he said.

According to the Public Service Commission 2011/12 Report, DCS was evaluated as the third best institution in dealing with fraud and corruption. As part of the Department’s anti-corruption strategy, since 2009/10, more than 171 DCS officials were dismissed, demoted or suspended for offences related to only fraud and corruption, including 28 officials between April and December 2013.

The recent incidence includes that of Mr Francis Moikutlwi Kwela (39) the DCS Legal Services Directorate who was sentenced to five years imprisonment after he was dismissed for fraud amounting to R1,823,393,10. Another official is still to stand trial in the same case. This matter has now been handed over to the Asset Forfeiture Unit for recovery.

A media release from the department states that in the year 2012/13 financial year, 251 DCS officials were dismissed and demoted and 2,850 officials were subjected to misconduct, disciplinary and hearings.

A total of 464 received correctional counselling, 659 were verbally warned, 475 received final written warnings, 161 were suspended without pay, nine officers were fined, 130 demoted, 121 dismissed, 111 were found not guilty and 310 cases were withdrawn.

The statement mention that the department is also closing in on the officials involved following the re-arrest of offenders Frikkie du Preez and Christoff Becker on 16th February 2014, and publication of a video showing the “Waterkloof Two” allegedly celebrating in a correctional centre.

“Correctional Officials must first, through their own conduct, earn respect to give this profession the respect it deserves. Together with the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services, as well as other law enforcement agencies, DCS will continue to ensure that any official, offender or member of the public found guilty of any offence face the consequences of their actions. We are also calling upon the public to report any criminal activity to the Department’s toll-free anti-corruption hotline 0800 701 7010800 701 701,” Minister Ndebele said.

 

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Thobile Mlangeni
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