The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has apparently appointed a convicted killer as a senior prisons' official without following procedure or getting security clearance.
It was reported in the Sunday Times that the Department has employed Mr Lucky Thekisho as the new deputy commissioner of employee relations despite the fact that it is against DCS employment regulations to hire someone who has served a prison term.
Firstly, applicants who have served a prison term cannot be employed by the Department - let alone in a senior position - and must declare any previous offences on their application forms. Mr Lucky Thekisho reportedly did not state on his application that he had been convicted of murder. Secondly, all personnel must complete a competency-based assessment, which he did not do.
The fact that procedure was not followed in his appointment begs the question whether he even received security clearance. This is a necessary condition for anyone working in a security department.
The Department has a considerable problem with appointing personnel who do not have the necessary security clearance. The DCS Annual Report for 2010/2011 states that 40 286 correctional services personnel did not have security clearance. Only 6.15% of DCS personnel have been vetted.
I will be submitting parliamentary questions to the Minister of Correctional Services to determine the following:
• Why Mr Thekisho did not complete a competency-based assessment;
• whether he obtained security clearance before being appointed;
• what steps the Department is taking to improve the vetting system; and
• whether the Department intends to honour Mr Thekisho's employment contract.
This process was badly handled and needs to be corrected. The Department must follow procedure in order to ensure that the right person is hired for the job.
James Selfe, Shadow Minister of Correctional Services