Correctional Services to introduce Offender Skills Development project

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The Justice and Correctional Services Department will commence with the Offender Skills Development project as part of plans to internalise nutritional services at correctional facilities. This after the department gave African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa, 30 days notice to cancel the last remaining contract with the company and its subsidiaries at seven management areas.

High ranking officials implicated in the Special Investigating Unit’s  (SIU) report into the matter have been notified and some placed on precautionary suspension. This after it filed for insolvency when banks threatened to shut down the company’s accounts.

“African Global Operations notified DCS of its intention to apply for voluntary  liquidation; consequently DCS served African Global Operations with a 30 day notice to cancel the contract for nutritional services at seven management  areas,” says Justice Minster Micheal Masutha.

African Global Operations provided nutrition to 26 of the 31 kitchens at correctional centres. Following a Special Investigating Unit investigations into alleged corruption in awarding of tenders to Bosasa, a 2009 report recommended that disciplinary action be taken against then CFO, Patrick Gillingham and former national commissioner Linda Mti. It also suggested that civil proceedings be instituted against Bosasa to recover  monies lost. Minister Masutha and the SIU head were at pains to explain why such recommendations had not been implemented in 2009.

“At the time of the Bosasa report, SIU did not have their legislative powers to institute Civil litigation on behalf of state institutions, in its own name or jointly. It is only after the judicial matters amendment act number one of 2012,” says SIU’s Advocate Andy Mothibi.

” There is no contract that was ever brought to my attention as showing signs of irregularity that I simply turned a blind eye to. So I’ll challenge anybody who has one,”says Masutha.

The department secured the services of Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo to review all security contracts awarded in 2006,  focusing on Bosasa and its subsidiaries. Masutha says correctional service officials implicated in testimonies at the Zondo Commission have been served with notices, while others have been placed on precautionary suspension.

Meanwhile, investigations into corruption within the state attorney’s office led to the arrest of a Mthatha attorney relating to fraudulent medico legal claims estimated at R100 million.

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