Call to axe prisons boss Arthur Fraser amid claims of him giving jobs to untrained warders

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Arthur Fraser.
Arthur Fraser.
Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24
  • The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union wants Correctional Services boss Arthur Fraser removed from office.
  • The union claims untrained warders have been appointed while more experienced warders were excluded.
  • Popcru also claims over 2 000 learner warders who underwent training, are yet to be absorbed into the system.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) wants Correctional Services national commissioner Arthur Fraser removed from office.

The union said Fraser had been appointing untrained warders and excluding experienced ones.

READ | Former spy boss Arthur Fraser opens perjury case following spy revelations at Zondo commission

Popcru first deputy general secretary, Rankele Msinto briefed the media on Thursday on their position around the public servants' wage agreement, the restructuring of the SAPS and Covid-19 vaccines.

It's not the first time Popocru has called for Fraser's axing from the department.

Earlier this month, the union said since Fraser's transfer to the DCS, there had been no improvement in the department.

Union bosses claim the former State Security Agency (SSA) boss had been ignorant and out of touch with the deteriorating conditions under which correctional officers and centres were confined to.

"As understaffing and overcrowding continue to increase, so has been the increase in the level of Covid-19 infections, with high incidents of security breaches, continued altercations that have led to officers being stabbed, and recently, the neglect of the health and safety of officers, which are accompanied by threats from the very management.

"Within a period [of] 10 days, between the 6th to the 16th of January 2021, the levels of infections within correctional centres have increased by 1 007, with the death rate increasing by 28, and these numbers continue increasing on a daily basis," the union said.

Msinto said there was a dire shortage of personnel within correctional centres.

READ HERE | Correctional services official arrested after senior manager shot at head office

He said while over 2 000 learners underwent training, they were isolated and not being absorbed into these correctional centres.

"There have been a lot of resources spent on the training and accommodation of these learners from the departmental coffers, while SASETAs has been paying out stipends for their sustenance. All these resources would result in wasteful expenditure in the midst of financial challenges faced by government, as they could have otherwise been channelled to other productive factors," he said.

On the recent explosive testimonies at the Zondo commission, Msinto said: "We are concerned that the state's resources were exploited for nefarious projects to enrich individuals, their acolytes and to pay bribes to party factions.

"Such acts are part and parcel of eroding the confidence people should have in their government, and it can never be termed radical economic transformation, but simply theft for personal gain at the largest possible scale."

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