Prisons get new boss

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The CE of the Government Printing Works, Tom Moyane, is due to take over as the new national commissioner of the troubled Department of Correctional Services. Moyane’s appointment is set to bring stability to a department that has been plagued by operational problems for months.

Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has told MPs Moyane would start work mid-month, Business Day reported. “We now have a director-general. We have a commissioner,” she said. The Cabinet had also approved the appointment of a new chief financial officer. “Starting from May 15 we should have a director-general and chief financial officer fully operational in the department.”

The Government Printing Works is a unit of the Department of Home Affairs. Among its tasks is the printing of passports and identity documents. Moyane joined it five years ago after leaving the Department of Trade and Industry, where he was chief director of strategic competitiveness. An economist by training, he also worked at Glass SA and had a stint as MD of Engen in Mozambique.

Moyane also spent time working for the government of Guinea- Bissau in the early 1990s.

Mapisa-Nqakula did not foresee any further legal challenges from the former national commissioner, Xoliswa Sibeko, Business Day added. Sibeko was suspended on July 13 last year for renting a private property and travelling abroad with her husband at taxpayers’ expense, but was later cleared.

Mapisa-Nqakula said Sibeko’s contract was due to expire in August this year. “She has been paid her salary in full until then. All due processes … have been followed. I foresee no further legal proceedings from Miss Sibeko.” Sibeko and Gauteng commissioner Thozama Mqobi-Balfour were suspended for allegedly renting properties in Pretoria’s exclusive Woodhill golf estate for R30 000 a month. Both had use of official residences. Sibeko was acquitted on all the charges but was not reinstated as there had been an “irretrievable breakdown of trust”, Mapisa-Nqakula said.

She said earlier this year that Sibeko had been paid R805 283 up to February. The department’s former chief financial officer, Patrick Gillingham, was suspended on September 30, pending the finalisation of a disciplinary hearing against him on charges of misconduct relating to the procurement of goods and services within the department. The charges arose from a report by the Special Investigating Unit. Proceedings against Gillingham began on November 27 with another sitting on February 8. Further sittings were scheduled for May 5-21.



The chairman of the portfolio committee on correction services, Vincent Smith, welcomed the new appointments, saying they would bring much-needed stability to the department. “We’d like to see the new director-general spend at least five years in the position to bring back stability,” he said.