Parole officers still 'homeless'
Correctional Services Department scrambles after embarrassing report in Sowetan
Parole officers were forced to operate from a pavement in Johannesburg after being evicted from their office because the rent had not been paid, the department said.
“Initially, our staff [was forced] to operate from outside of the office in an attempt to keep systems going,” said correctional services provincial spokesman Koos Gerber.
He said alternative measures had since been put in place.
“The area commissioner of correctional services has arranged that the [division] temporarily operates from his office at the management area at the Johannesburg Correctional Centre or 'Sun City' as it is known.”
Gerber was responding to an Inkatha Freedom Party statement that it was appalled at the situation. IFP Gauteng caucus leader Bonginkosi Dhlamini said parolees and probationers were being registered and interviewed at a desk on the street.
“This ridiculous matter surfaced weeks ago, yet the department has not made the necessary action in an effort to resolve it,” he said.
The division was evicted from its premises in Frederick Street in Johannesburg on August 3 after the department of public works failed to pay the rent. The IFP alleged that the department owed around R2 million.
Gerber said the problem would possibly be sorted out by the end of the week.
- SOWETAN reported earlier this month that the parole officers had been locked out of their office and forced to work on the pavement after the Correctional Services Department allegedly failed to pay rent for five years.
The department owes the National Union of Mineworkers Properties (Numprop) R1.3-million in rent for the use of the union's buildings in Frederick Street in the CBD, according to the union's attorney.
The department also owes a further R700,000 in rent for two additional floors that, it is claimed, it occupied illegally in the same building.
Numprop is the property arm of NUM.