Following the reports of unprotected strike action by the Correctional Services officials at the Johannesburg and Bethal correctional centers, Zach Modise – the Correctional Services National Commissioner warns that SA inmates must be treated with dignity and not denied their basic human rights.
“The right of SA inmates cannot be compromised”, Modise iterated as he asserts that “the disruptive behavior by certain officials to the systemic functioning of DCS (Department of Correctional Services ) compromises the basic human rights of inmates.”
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“As offenders,” he said, SA inmates “have the right to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity. Action will be taken against officials who promote such unlawful, and unprofessional, conduct,” Modise warns.
The Commissioner argues that the DCS is designated to offer essential service, and as such, demands of all officials to follow lawful channels of communication, and not to embark upon any unlawful, and illegal, labor action.
“As National Commissioner, I have again urged our Human Resource component to be sensitive to the issues raised by officials which DCS, in certain instances, has not finalized.
DCS Managers need to be alive to the frustrations of officials, which should equally frustrate management. As DCS, we remain committed towards ensuring that all issues raised by officials are speedily resolved.
In this regard, we are engaging POPCRU and PSA, who are the recognized labor union representatives of DCS officials, as well as DPSA and our sister departments in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster,” Modise relates.
He however, highlights that the department is operating in an environment experiencing distress with an increasing call from Treasury for the department to get value for every Rand spent.
“This requires that we all work towards finding practical, and satisfactory, solutions to the challenges that face us as a Department…there are certain matters which remain partially resolved or unresolved. Together, we will overcome the challenges,” he charges.