Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services 2018/19 Annual Report

This premium content has been made freely available

Justice and Correctional Services

09 October 2019
Chairperson: Mr H Mohamed (ANC) (Acting)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

Annual Reports 2018/2019JICS Media Statements

The Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services presented its 2018/19 Annual Report.

In his opening remarks the Inspecting Judge of Prisons emphasised the challenges around the entity’s independence in relation to the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). JICS was, to a large extent, placed under the financial control of the Department it was supposed to provide oversight on. There was a business case that is under discussion to find the appropriate form for JICS. The Correctional Services Act had to be amended in this regard.

The Judge highlighted that the main problem at correctional facilities was overcrowding. This was not the fault of the national commissioner or DCS. These inmates were sent by the courts. As to whose fault it was, this was up for debate.

The Inspecting Judge further highlighted that his term expired at the end of September. While it was extended until the end of December by the Minister, it was not confirmed by the President, as required by the law.

JICS reported that it had increased the number of visits and managed to visit 122 facilities – half of all facilities. With limited staff, JICS aims to visit a minimum of 50% (previously, JICS visited 81 facilities).

JICS indicated it was now rating centres into 3 categories: good, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. Of the 122 facilities inspected, 38 were unsatisfactory (31%). These were classified as such due to age of infrastructure, lack of maintenance, or bad facilities.

The manual reporting system negatively affected JICS’s performance.

155 instances of assault of officials on inmates, 65 instances of inmate-inmate assault.

103 unnatural deaths were reported in the 2018/19 performance cycle. This was a drastic increase over the last 3 years. Natural deaths were decreasing (384 reported) due to the provision of healthcare. 28 cases of suicide were reported.

1005 segregations were reported in the 2018/19 performance cycle – down drastically from 9000. This was likely due to the collapse of automatic reporting and non-reporting. This pattern continued in the mechanical restraints and use of force statistics.

Only two exceptions were brought against JICS in the audit report:
In the asset register, JICS put the VIN numbers instead of registration numbers of cars in fleet
JICS bought furniture and did not indicate the depreciation value

JICS spent 93% of our budget – the shortfall was due to the non-appointment of employees.

The Committee welcomed the increase in facility visits and the decline in natural deaths. It questioned discrepancies between JICS and Departmental statistics, as well as noting the issue of a petition against the CEO and Inspecting Judge.

Conversation was also devoted to the relationship between JICS and the Department of Correctional Services, how its reports were treated by the Department and how the Department reacted to its media statements.

Members further enquired about the Management Information System, vacancies, employment equity and internal disciplinary hearings.

Meeting report

The Acting Chairperson welcomed everyone and read out apologies.

Remarks by Inspecting Judge of Prisons
Mr Johann Van Der Westhuizen, Inspecting Judge, JICS, said that in his view and the view of the entity, JICS was of extreme importance in South Africa’s constitutional democracy. It was obvious that because of this, JICS needed a degree of independence. The Correctional Services Act of 1998 says JICS is an independent office under the control of the inspecting judge. We must be careful of lip service. We must measure the conduct of government in terms of this independence. He noted the case of a media question about him saying “Senior DCS officials were sabotaging JICS” – he stressed the need for accuracy as this was never said. 

Justice Van der Westhuizen indicated that he was appointed in April 2016. At the risk of sounding immodest, he believed that JICS had made much progress. The JICS he inherited had an acting CEO for years, no judge for months and low morale. The attitude was that JICS was not being taken seriously, and that the Department of Correctional Services was placing obstacles in the way of JICS. He was encouraged by former Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla to let JICS have a higher public profile. Its profile now is certainly higher – whether this was welcomed or not by the Department and others remained unclear. The point was not to make the himself famous – but rather to ensure the proper treatment of inmates. People do not relinquish their right to human dignity once they are incarcerated – indeed the state becomes responsible for it.

As mentioned before, the Correctional Services Act (CSA) says JICS is independent. What does this mean? There was a distinction between independence in mindset and resources. Even the Chief Justice did not have carte blanche. Sonke Gender Justice questioned the Correctional Services Act in court. JICS was created by and regulated in Chapters 9 & 10 of the CSA. Sonke Gender Justice said the whole approach was wrong and they wanted these sections to be declared unconstitutional. A day or two after JICS and the Committee’s last meeting, the Western Cape High Court delivered its judgment. It found certain clauses of the CSA to be unconstitutional and thus invalid. Section 85 says JICS is an independent office under control of the Inspecting Judge, but it does not establish what independent and control mean. S88A says the Inspecting Judge identifies someone who the National Commissioner of Correctional Services had to appoint as CEO. He did not agree with Sonke Gender Justice that this was an issue as the National Commissioner had to appoint the candidate. S88A, however, places accountability of the CEO under the National Commissioner for resources and reporting. Complaints of staff had to be referred to the National Commissioner. S91 dealt with financial matters – the High Court found S91 to be invalid as well as parts of S88A. The High Court suspended the declaration of independence (in other words the clauses are still in operation) and gave Parliament 24 months to remedy this. That period started on the 5th September - however judgment had to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court. The National Commissioner declined to appeal, and he was not sure if the Presidency or Ministry would appeal. If the Constitutional Court confirmed the judgment, the 24 months would start running from this date.

What was the way forward? The Justice wrote a letter on this matter to the Minister, Deputy Minister, and Chair of the Portfolio Committee. There was a business case that had been around for a few months of an appropriate government form for JICS. JICS was currently a “programme” in the DCS. The problem with these clauses was that JICS was, to a large extent, placed under the financial control of the Department they are supposed to provide oversight on. He congratulated the CFO on receiving a wonderful report from AGSA with 2 small issues. No unauthorised expenditure, self-enrichment or corruption was identified. The Court’s idea was that DCS could interfere in JICS’s independence due to its control of finances. The National Commissioner said this was impossible as the money was ring-fenced. However, this interference had taken place in the past. Of course, JICS accepted that where budget cuts were necessary, this had to be implemented. However, DCS had become involved in where JICS was allowed to cut its budget, forcing cuts in goods and services spending. This was a threat to JICS’s independence.

On the way forward, the business case had to go forward to find the appropriate form for JICS. It was now very clear the CSA had to be amended. JICS could not say it was independent and situated within a department and at the same time have the CEO being required to report to the department. This was discussed at a meeting last Thursday with the Deputy Minister and National Commissioner. The issue was: did one amend clauses as they were, or did one go wider and draft new JICS legislation outside the CSA? A range of issues had been mentioned over the years about the independence, power and functions of JICS. Some of them were big questions, some were more technical. The National Commissioner was considering wider amendments to the CSA. Consensus so far was that JICS should have its own legislation. JICS was busy with a draft and could try to make it available before the middle of November. He proposed to the Minister that JICS would drive this new legislation, but in coordination with stakeholders.

The CSA says the Inspecting Judge had to report on every inspection to the Minister and Parliament. JICS put these reports into quarterly reports for practical reasons. In special cases it reported specifically on certain cases. One was Goedemoed, where an official was murdered with scissors by an inmate and her colleague was raped, as well as there being a hostage situation. Justice Van der Westhuizen visited the site in April, and gave his condolences to the victim and family. JICS returned with the Human Rights Commission in June – there was some attempt by the Deputy Minister to stop them going there. The Inspecting Judge expressed his dissatisfaction with this attempt and went anyway. It was tense but the delegation was received cordially by the Provincial Commissioner. The facility was placed in lockdown and the Inspecting Judge received several reports of assault and torture. He later received a report from the National Commissioner on why he thought the visit was a bad idea. He explained that their investigations indicated that there might be more than just violation of the dignity of an inmate involved in the issue. JICS re-investigated but still had not received a report from DCS. The JICS report was ready to go to the Ministry and Parliament. Justice Van der Westhuizen asked the National Commissioner for insight into DCS’s report as JICS did not want to contradict it. At some point, he got a reply saying the report was being finalised and would be made available, but JICS had still not seen it. JICS sent its report to the Committee and Ministry. In a cover letter, it indicated it would be issuing a media statement in the coming days, and gave time for stakeholders to give input. JICS then released the report. It later heard that the National Commissioner was angry as he only saw the report in the media – but it was sent well in advance of the media release. JICS was told that its report jeopardised DCS’s investigation. JICS specifically stipulated in our report that it was preliminary. A disturbing feature of the Goedemoed issue – on the 3rd August, JICS’s Cape Town office received a complaint from an inmate that he was assaulted by the area commissioner in public for spreading lies to the Inspecting Judge. Of course, JICS was experienced enough not to believe everything it heard from inmates right away. It gave this complaint to the regional commissioner and DCS and received acknowledgment of receipt, but had not received any feedback on possible merits of the case. If this complaint was true and it was being covered up, it went to the very heart of the mandate of JICS.

The JICS report also listed theme issues:
Overcrowding: This was not the fault of the national commissioner or DCS. These inmates were sent by the courts. As to whose fault it was, this was up for debate.
The issue of whether magistrates should grant bail or not, JICS could not oversimplify the decision of magistrates. Magistrates cannot simply grant bail as a policy. This required information from the public prosecutor.
Another issue was whether the party could afford bail or not. Shorter sentences were also not a panacea. If someone was only in prison for a few weeks or months, there was a strong likelihood they would become a gang member and be drawn into crime for a lifetime.
Parole was also an issue – why did it take so long? Recently the Judge heard of difficulties in finding documentation to grant parole. JICS had also heard of community leaders in places like Thohoyandou refusing to take released inmates back in to the community.
Overcrowding was not DCS or JICS’s fault. In order to provide more clarity, JICS did an overcrowding survey. It took 5 centres in different areas to do a physical test asking inmates why they were there, how long they had been there, etc. JICS released it as a media release – in the Judge’s view it did not attack DCS but JICS was contacted by DCS and accused of trying to make itself an alternative spokesperson for correctional services. JICS reported this to the National Commissioner but had not received a reply.
State of facilities
Allegations of corruption
Allegations of breakdown between DCS and DPW
This report would be submitted in November
Some facilities look good, some look very very bad
Some look good but operate badly
The lawfulness of Supermax prisons will be reported on in November

In terms of mandatory reporting, certain things had to be reported regardless of whether JICS knew about it or not. The system of automatic reporting had collapsed. From documentation between the Deputy Minister and National Commissioner it seemed to be implied that JICS wanted to rely on old fashioned methods – Justice Van der Westhuizen disagreed. He noted the collapse of system and insistence on manual reporting was an interim measure.

Justice Van der Westhuizen indicated that his term as the Inspecting Judge expired on the last day of September. He indicated to the previous Ministry his availability should they see it useful for him to continue. Between May and today he had often tried to meet with the Ministry. JICS had 2 meetings with the Deputy Minister and one with the Minister. They indicated JICS would be without a judge by 1 October. This had happened once before when JICS fell into disrepair. The Judge received an email on the last day of his term saying the Minister was extending his contract until the 31st December, but this had not been confirmed by the Presidency. The President appoints the Inspecting Judge of JICS. Justice Van der Westhuizen did not know what was happening. The Minister could not extend the contract – the President had to. He appreciated the clarity given by the Minister but without Presidential approval he was not sure if he was the inspecting judge anymore. He would continue to do his work to the best of his ability. Apart from his immediate family, South Africa’s constitutional democracy was the most important thing in his life.

JICS’s situation had changed since his appointment. When he was appointed, the Minister and Deputy Minister were there before him and helped him get started. He understood a new ministry takes a while to get off the ground. His sense was that JICS’s relationship with DCS was different since the change in ministry. It seemed that DCS was concerned about JICS’s public profile and did not like when JICS issued media statements despite it providing DCS with these statements ahead of time. JICS had been told from time to time that if the DCS tells the Committee what really happened in certain cases, JICS would be embarrassed. The Inspecting Judge tried not to interpret that as a threat. JICS did not want to be embarrassed, and it wanted the truth, which required cooperation with DCS. However, JICS could not wait forever after issuing a preliminary report. The delays seemed to either be a deliberate tactic or a result of operational failure. It had been indicated that some desire JICS to return to its previous low profile. JICS thus needed help. The National Commissioner proposed the creation of a common framework for cooperation. Justice Van der Westhuizen committed to this in early July and wrote to the Commissioner saying JICS was ready to meet and establish this, but he had received no feedback. JICS would be very happy to make a protocol, but it could not be censored by DCS. JICS wanted cooperation and the ability to say to all relevant parties what it had found. Justice Van der Westhuizen stressed he had attempted to achieve this diplomatically but had reached a point where he needed help.

The Acting Chairperson thanked the Inspecting Judge. Before proceeding to the Annual Performance Report, there were a number of issues raised that spoke to the operation of JICS. The JICS, by design, was not an exclusive model of total independence. In its current design, it was a cooperative governance model. By nature, this created tensions.

The Acting Chairperson wanted to point the areas highlighted in terms of the Sonke Gender Justice judgment. The Committee would naturally consider and engage with the executive on legislation governing JICS in the course of its work. The Committee was aware of the austerity measures pronounced 2 years ago by the Treasury in Cabinet. All government departments and entities were directed to give effect to it. There was also an important directive from Treasury noting that it was the one who gave direction as to where one could cut. It may not be DCS that decided where JICS could cut expenditure – it could be a Treasury directive. The Committee would look into the Goedemoed issue.

The Acting Chairperson hoped the extension of the Inspecting Judge’s contract will be finalised soonest. He stressed that courts prefer that there should not be extended contracts, but rather proper appointments, recalling the Committee was asked to reform the NPA Act in terms of appointment of the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions to make it clear there had to be permanent appointments. He stressed the need for balance in terms of JICS’s approach to media statements. 

The Inspecting Judge replied on the budget cuts – whether it came from Treasury or not he did not know. However, on a Friday afternoon JICS was notified of a 27% cut to its budget. The next week it was told this was a mistake. JICS had a meeting with the Minister where the Minister virtually cross-examined the CFO. The Minister asked repeatedly at multiple meetings whether JICS could not cut its budget more than required. The blame game was irrelevant – if DCS could not interfere with JICS’ budget then the High Court’s ruling was wrong.

JICS 2018/19 Annual Report
Mr Vick Misser, CEO, JICS, presented the Annual Report.

JICS only had 3 directors – it was waiting for DCS to release approval so the CEO could effect appointments of 2 directors.

Mr Misser said he had been waiting to fill these posts since August but could not due to non-issuance of a simple function by DCS.

JICS had increased the number of visits and managed to visit 122 facilities – half of all facilities. With limited staff, JICS aims to visit a minimum of 50% (previously, JICS visited 81 facilities).

Overcrowding remains a serious concern. 162 875 inmates were held, with an approved capacity of 118 572. Foreigners accounted for almost 20 000 inmates incarcerated. 10 000 were sentenced. These inmates were dependent on translators, which also impacted on the DCS budget. 8500 were awaiting trial.

Some time ago, JICS indicated it was now rating centres into 3 categories: good, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. Of the 122 facilities inspected, 38 were unsatisfactory (31%). These were classified as such due to age of infrastructure, lack of maintenance, or bad facilities.

The healthcare system within DCS was satisfactory. However, those who were “state patients” with mental instability were unsatisfactorily treated. Many of the reported suicides, assaults, and sexual offences take place with mentally ill inmates. 2730 inmates were identified as having mental illnesses. They had been classified by DCS. 90 inmates were classified as state patients, meaning they had no capacity to appear before court. Many of these types of patients commit suicide or are attacked or abused by other inmates.

33 investigations were conducted by JICS. These investigations were themed.
Suicide at the hospital – these were known as cases of “a few minutes too late” – officials arrived only a few minutes after the inmate commits suicide to save them.
Sexual assault (Durban Juvenile)
Mentally ill, alone and out of control (King Williamstown)
Homicide at Boksburg – this was a case of revenge from an official. An inmate attacked an official with a scalpel, and was then severely beaten and died in hospital.

The manual reporting system negatively affected JICS’s performance.

155 instances of assault of officials on inmates, 65 instances of inmate-inmate assault.

103 unnatural deaths were reported in the 2018/19 performance cycle. This was a drastic increase over the last 3 years. Natural deaths were decreasing (384 reported) due to the provision of healthcare. 28 cases of suicide were reported.

1005 segregations were reported in the 2018/19 performance cycle – down drastically from 9000. This was likely due to the collapse of automatic reporting and non-reporting. This pattern continued in the mechanical restraints and use of force statistics.

Only two exceptions were brought against JICS in the audit report:
In the asset register, JICS put the VIN numbers instead of registration numbers of cars in fleet
JICS bought furniture and did not indicate the depreciation value

JICS spent 93% of our budget – the shortfall was due to the non-appointment of employees.

The Acting Chairperson opened the floor for debate. He noted that the annual report did not highlight the disciplinary matters of JICS’s own staff. He welcomed the increased performance in facility visits. He asked whether JICS had checked whether there was a discrepancy between its stats and DCS’s? He assumed that cross-checking did not take place given the communication challenges mentioned earlier.

Ms N Maseko-Jele (ANC) requested clarity on 2 issues: the first was the appointment of employees – which positions were vacant? JICS also mentioned doctors that were delinquent in their duties – who was paying these doctors? She requested a joint briefing on reporting systems from JICS and DCS.

Adv T Mulaudzi (EFF) requested a clarification of the relationship between Judge and DCS. In the previous meeting, there was a tone of non-cooperation between JICS and DCS – was this still the case? The Judge mentioned the issue of his contract extension. The contract could not be done in terms of common sense: it must be done in terms of the legislation. South Africa was not a banana republic and contract issues had to be approached procedurally. In terms of the neglect of the Management Information System (MIS) by DCS – what was being done in this regard that damaged MIS? He asked DCS to clarify why it was not supporting JICS in the appointment of people to vacant posts or what their view was. He requested more detail on JICS’s employment equity statistics, especially at the executive level. He asked whether there were any disciplinary cases during 2018/19, as well as the nature of the grievances solved and unsolved in JICS. The financial statements did not mention leases whereas they did before – what was the issue in this case? He appreciated the better performance in prison visits, noting a desire to get to a point where all the prisons were visited every year. What was being done to resolve the complaints identified? He welcomed the decline in natural deaths. Regarding cases of suicide in single cells – were people being screened before incarceration in single cells? He echoed the Chairperson’s point on discrepancies in reporting between JICS and the DCS – JICS reported 103 unnatural deaths, DCS 58 in 2018/19. Where did these discrepancies originate?

Mr W Horn (DA) brought up the lack of mandatory reporting – when JICS engaged with the DCS regarding this, what stance did the Department take? The IIMS had an unsavoury history of DCS continuing with the tender despite Treasury’s Chief Procurement Officer advising against signing the contract. DCS said progress was advancing with IIMS despite rumours that it would never work properly in rural areas due to technological deficiencies. Was JICS expecting to ever get credible information from the IIMS? He also requested a sense of how JICS saw reaction from its reports unfolding, noting a feeling of frustration in JICS’s management. When reports were filed, was the reaction from DCS and the Ministry of such a nature that JICS felt that its work was not in vain? The reason for JICS was to ensure that correctional services operate in an optimal manner. Did JICS feel that its reports and reactions to them brought positive changes?

Judge Van Der Westhuizen agreed that a joint meeting between the Committee, JICS and DCS would be highly desirable. There was a need for regular contact with DCS and this had been difficult recently. He had attempted to establish a joint operation protocol with the National Commissioner. He enquired whether a delegation from JICS would be welcome to attend when the Committee saw the Department on the 17th. As far as employment equity was concerned, he asked the CEO to suspend JICS’s policy so he could have a look at it – it had been revised and it was on his desk. The Employment Equity policy had to reflect national goals on transformation. As far as the Director of Legal Services position was concerned, interviews were held but JICS decided not to appoint anyone. He had advised JICS management that it would be desirable for the new Director to be a Black woman.

On the question of what happened to JICS reports, Justice Van der Westhuizen was ambivalent. Since his appointment, whenever he spoke to the media he was asked: “do they take you seriously?” The strategy decided on, together with the Minister at the time of his appointment, was that if JICS did not get a response, it would go to the media, based on the principles of fairness and responsibility. JICS had tried to do this and once or twice this approach worked. About 6 months into his appointment, he became aware of an incident that happened a year and a half earlier of the murder of an inmate by an official. That report had still not been released and he demanded a report by the end of that month from DCS – JICS received one but it was highly unsatisfactory. But the National Commissioner was responsive. JICS did not want to rely on the threat of media issues to execute its duties. JICS reports go to facilities first for verification. On ground level, JICS was welcomed mostly by heads of centres and staff. Higher up, it had had a good response to some things, but very often it was met with silence or postponement.
Mr Misser clarified JICS had no formal disciplinary hearings in 2018/19, although it did have grievances. 1 grievance that was outstanding had been finalised in Q1 2019/20. Mandatory reporting issues were being addressed by implementing a manual reporting system which was approved by the Commissioner and distributed to all facilities and officials concerned - but there seemed to continue to be non-reporting of issues.

Mr Lennard De Souza, Manager: Inspections/Investigations, JICS, noted that there were discrepancies every year in terms of numbers reported. The major issue was the “unnatural other” type of death, wherein an inmate with no prior diseases had died. JICS automatically classified this as unnatural until it received an autopsy report. Sometimes JICS had these down as unnatural as it had not received an autopsy report from DCS which it may have already. In cases wherein doctors did not arrive or arrived late – JICS could not do anything about this but advise DCS to reconsider their relationship with this doctor.

Prof P Mohlaba, Manager: Mandatory Reporting Unit, JICS, explained that JICS did go through a process of checking deaths with DCS. It found out sometimes that when JICS concluded checks, the annual reports have already been finished. The process of verification usually took a bit of time. JICS would try and improve this process so that when it next arrived the numbers matched. On the MIS reporting system, JICS was currently in the process of testing the new system. There were a number of issues with the system which JICS had highlighted with DCS, especially with picking up information of inmates and communication between systems. JICS was in the phase of optimising the functioning of the system. It would try and meet with the officials dealing with MIS in the next two weeks.

Ms Emmarentia Cupido, Deputy Director: Communications, JICS, stressed that the Committee had to understand that, when it came to communications, the public has the right to know. JICS was an oversight body. It did not just inform the public about what is happening in facilities, but also had to create awareness on its functions as part of its mandate. JICS was trying to provide an opportunity for inmates to be accepted back into society. The outcome of this would be fewer people in prison. JICS was not trying to attack DCS – it was trying to assist.

Mr De Souza noted that, when JICS did an investigation, sometimes the cooperation it received was very good. It depended on the type of investigation. As soon as JICS asked for disciplinary action against an official the cooperation slowed down.

Ms Maseko-Jele echoed Adv Mulaudzi’s earlier request for further detail on employment equity.

Adv Mulaudzi followed up on the issue of the nature of the grievances. He explained his question about employment equity was due to a petition from JICS’s own employees.

Mr Misser replied that the detailed employment equity statistics were on page 67 of JICS’s report. Grievance information was contained on page 69. The outstanding grievance had been resolved in the current performance cycle.

Justice Van Der Westhuizen addressed the issue of the petition: JICS had around 400 employees. The previous year, a group of people in the Cape Town office wrote to the Public Service Commission making certain allegations about people at JICS. The PSC decided there was not enough merit to investigate. He became aware of a petition signed by 25 JICS employees, chiefly from the Cape Town office, in April 2019. The petition was wide-ranging, and asked the National Commissioner to investigate himself and the CEO for, among other things, corruption and self-enrichment. He decided to follow the Correctional Services Act in that the NC had no authority to investigate JICS employees. S86 said that the Inspecting Judge had to refer complaints about the CEO to the National Commissioner. He referred complaints to the Commissioner, and they agreed to take these complaints to the Public Service Commission. Adv R Sizani, the Chair, was in contact with him. The PSC was asked to investigate every allegation in the petition, together with the proof submitted. The petitioners stated they had documentary evidence they could make available. Justice Van der Westhuizen asked that every issue should be investigated, as well as investigating the origins of the petition. There was a certain history, particularly in Cape Town. He was unsure if unions were involved, although he had heard that the union representative was central to the drafting of the petition. The PSC was investigating. As far as he knew, it had asked petitioners to make written complaints. The impression that he had gained from people who signed the petition was that they signed a document different from the one that was circulated. Those who signed allegedly did not see the petition they were signing. He would be particularly aggrieved if this turned out to be true – it seems that people were told to sign blank or misleading pieces of paper. He was of the view that whistle-blowers had to be protected, and not just the ones he liked. He passed it on to the Commissioner and the complaints would be dealt with. The investigation would continue and JICS would keep the Committee apprised of developments.

The Acting Chairperson appreciated JICS’s frustration in delays in appointing staff and the mentioned possibility of litigation. There had to be a special effort from JICS to exhaust all avenues before going to court. The Committee would assist in this regard if needed. He reiterated the complex and sensitive matter of communication in all areas of government and entities. JICS could learn from others’ best practices. All the entities involved in the Committee’s work had communications officers and presented a harmonised communication.

Justice Van Der Westhuizen responded to the possible use of courts to achieve the appointment of vacant posts. He had no intention of doing this but had to be open about what is going on. Two posts were advertised (Director: Correctional Services and Director: Legal Services). A committee was constituted, presided over by a Department of Justice official. The report back for Legal Services was so negative JICS decided to re-advertise. The CSA stated the CEO appointed people in JICS. However other provisions said that the DCS had be consulted. The shortlisted candidates were sent for testing, and the committee noted possible concerns over the capacity of the first candidate, and so the CEO made a memorandum stating a preference for the second candidate, which was sent to the Ministry. The CEO’s preference was questioned. The head of HR at DCS approached the Judge at the farewell for the previous minister, and told him the appointment was wrong and the DCS would not activate it on its system. He immediately circulated this to JICS staff. The CEO had already sent a letter of appointment to the second candidate, which he was unaware of. At some point, the Judge received a letter from the Minister saying that he preferred the first candidate on advice from the National Commissioner of Correctional Services. His response was that he did not appoint the candidate. This did constitute interference in an area the Minister and Commissioner were not allowed to be involved in. The CEO was bound to appoint people in line with all procedural formalities. The Judge would not support a non-procedural appointment. The head of HR of DCS requested an opinion from DPSA – the opinion from DPSA agreed with the JICS CEO’s opinion to appoint the second candidate. In two or three legal opinions, an advocate also agreed with Mr Misser’s proposed candidate. From DCS’s side, Mr Mashinini (HR, DCS) indicated DCS would consult an SC for an opinion on the matter. This was in August, DCS was requested to provide the opinion by the end of August and there had so far been no action on the matter.

The Acting Chairperson noted his concern on the expenditure of public money on this disagreement between JICS and DCS.

The meeting was adjourned.


Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: