The three senior officials have now been placed on special leave with full pay.
THREE senior officials at Kimberley Correctional Services have apparently been placed on precautionary suspension after allegedly contravening lockdown regulations.
Thirty-three people were tagged in a Facebook post, where officials are seen posing with alcoholic beverages, including a bottle of Jameson whisky, and not observing social distancing regulations.
It is believed that the photo was taken at the home of one of the officials during an “after-tears” ceremony, after the Covid-19 restrictions were implemented.
It was, however, reported that despite a sanction to suspend the officials on April 29, they were instead placed on special leave with full pay.
Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo stated that this was an internal matter between the employer and employee(s). “As a result, we cannot discuss it on a public platform.”
Public Servants Association (PSA) provincial manager Stephen Ledibane on Wednesday pointed out that special leave was only granted to public servants if they were over the age of 60 years or if they had underlying health conditions.
“We consider it to be a precautionary suspension. If the officials were placed on special leave, reasons must be specified. It would be cowardly not to charge them and simply allow them to sit at home with a full salary, at the expense of the taxpayer. While we appreciate that the matter may be sub judice, we will continue to monitor progress on the investigation,” said Ledibane
He believed that the officials should undergo disciplinary hearings. “The employer must clamp down on disregard for the regulations and lead by example. This behaviour of openly flouting the regulations is counteractive to fighting the spread of Covid-19. Ministers are being named and shamed for misconduct and yet local officials are being protected.”