SOCCER legend turned prison warder Andries "Chaka Chaka" Mpondo is set to face a bleak Christmas after he was this week dismissed by the Department of Correctional Services.
Sowetan reported in August that the former Moroka Swallows midfielder and a colleague, Godfrey Ntshenkong, faced disciplinary hearings after they drove a convicted criminal to his home for coffee instead of taking him back to his cell after a court appearance.
Christopher "Gielie" Willemse, who is doing time in Krugersdorp Prison for assault, had gone to testify in the Johannesburg magistrate's court.
The two warders took him to court from prison. But instead of returning him to prison they drove to Willemse's home in Claremont, west of Johannesburg.
Once there they allegedly allowed Willemse, who is also on trial facing murder and drug charges, to relax with his family while they drank coffee.
Top cop Piet Byleveld, who had tailed them from court, arrested them on the spot.
Though charges were later dropped the department proceeded with disciplinary action and dismissed them on Tuesday.
The downhearted Mpondo declined to comment.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said it was looking into the matter. This after the department failed to suspend a senior manager after prisoners managed to get hold of his gun.
Nduduzo Buthelezi had asked prisoners to wash his car with his gun in the cubbyhole. The prisoners got hold of his gun but decided to hand it over to management.
"Without comparing the two cases, there is nothing more serious than having a senior personnel's gun in the hands of inmates It warranted immediate suspension and investigation. He also contravened the rules of handling a firearm. He put so many lives in danger," said Popcru's Simon Madini.
The department's spokesperson, Simphiwe Kondleka's cellphone was off despite his earlier promise to comment.