(SACOSWU) is saddened by the untimely death of female Correctional official at Goedemoed Prison in the Free State

The South African Correctional Services Workers Union
January 8, 2019

 South African Correctional Officers Services Workers Unions (SACOSWU) is saddened by the untimely death of female Correctional official at Goedemoed Prison in the Free State during the hostage drama on the 29 March 2019 on Friday where another pregnant official was raped on the same instance. SACOSWU is greatly distressed and disturbed by these attacks on our members. The Department of Correctional Services should take full responsibility which implies being held accountable for circumstances leading to the death and attack on the officials. As much as the department could wish to dishonestly deny that shortage of staff was one of the contributing circumstances which includes a very ominous and ineffective working pattern introduced in 2009 rendering the correctional operations to be very unsafe. SACOSWU hereby calls on the Minister of Justice Department of Correctional Services to restructure by reversing the ominous shift pattern and address the staff shortage which is the root cause of this brutal death and attack on the officials. It should be earnestly noted in negating the irresponsible denial of the Minister Masutha that this incidence occurred on a Friday when only three officials, two females and one male were on duty in a section with more than 200 offenders, not by default but by staff shortage considering the offender official ratio of 1:30, putting the honesty of the minister in disrepute in this regard. SACOSWU demands an investigation whereby the circumstances leading to the brutal incidence should be relative to the circumstances whereby staff shortage and 7 day working cycle which will serve to remedy the reoccurrence of this nature. SACOSWU also calls for the Minister to re-establish a Ministerial Task Team to deal with all challenges in DCS where all unions will have to participate effectively in addressing such matters heavily burdening the Correctional Officers and recreating a safer working place and custodial environment. It should also be mentioned that Mamabolo the spokesperson of the disillusioned trade union Popcru’s statement was a lie in as far as giving a misleading statement that the Correctional Centre is not overpopulated but does not understand that the section in question has more than 200 offenders where only 3 officials were booked in that unit where two officials were female and one was highly pregnant. Our deepest and sincere condolences to family of the deceased, all officials of Goedemoed and Correctional officials in general. Issued by the SACOSWU 

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