19 June 2023 - NW2234
Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
(a) What intervention measures have been put in place to support officials who are found to have been suspended unfairly and/or without valid reasons and are then called back to work without any disciplinary hearings and (b) which forms of assistance have been provided to the HR Manager at Tswelopele Correctional Center and placed at Community Corrections after she filed complaint?
(a) The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has the Disciplinary Code and Procedure which provides guidance in dealing with alleged acts of misconduct. Officials who are accused of committing serious misconduct are placed on precautionary suspension with full pay as a measure to ensure a fair and uninterrupted/ interference free investigation to ultimately determine the facts of an allegation.
Before placing the officials on suspension, the Executing Authority examines the seriousness of the allegations after which, if nececessary, serves the official with a contemplation of suspension letter. The official is afforded an opportunity to respond within a specified period. Based on the supporting evidence, and the official’s response or evidence, the executing authority decides whether to suspend or consider alternative placement.
The Department reviews suspensions on a regular basis to ensure that sufficient reason still exists for the precautionary suspension to remain in place.
(b) The Human Resources Manager referred to was suspended in 2019 for Section 95 allegations of fraud/maladministration. The case was investigated and the official was found guilty and issued with a final written warning. During the review of her suspension it was decided to alternatively place her at Social Reintegration to prevent any interference with evidence as, due to her role as HR manager, she had direct access to administration and evidence implicated in the case.
In addition, services of the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) are available to all officials for emotional and psychological support. All officials in the Department are made aware of the services offered.