Prison staff get ID smart cards

By Drum Digital
28 August 2013

Correctional services department staff at the Pretoria head office received smart card IDs from Minister Sibusiso Ndebele.

Correctional services department staff at the Pretoria head office received smart card IDs from Minister Sibusiso Ndebele on Wednesday. "As South Africa marks a break with identity documents that were prone to identity theft, the department of correctional services has also taken the first crucial step in issuing secure identification to our staff, which is not susceptible to identity fraud," Ndebele said. The policy on the new ID cards would go a long way in curtailing security breaches, especially at prisons, he said. Correctional services commissioner Thomas Moyane said receiving the cards was a milestone for the department and government. "For the last 20 years our officials had no identity... Wearing a simple uniform does not give us a sense of security," Moyane said. Ndebele said a department official was sentenced last Wednesday to five years in prison for committing fraud amounting to more than R1.8 million. "Last Sunday, an official was arrested at Baviaanspoort [prison] for allegedly trying to smuggle dagga into the centre."

He urged officials to continue their fight against drugs, gangsterism, and the abuse of women, children and the elderly.

"May these new cards... also symbolise new vows in our united fight against crime, and our renewed efforts at the rehabilitation of offenders and their successful re-integration into society," Ndebele said.

More than 41,000 officials across the country would be receiving the new cards in phases.

-by Sapa

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