13 February 2018

Swaziland: Anger Over Prison Service Promotions

The wife of Swaziland's Correctional Services Commissioner General Mzuthini Ntshangase is among a number of officers reportedly promoted in secret.

Nothando Ntshangase, aged 31, was promoted from superintendent to senior superintendent, and is believed to be the youngest senior superintendent in the kingdom. She is now second in command at the Mawelawela facility.

She is one of a number of jail officers who have been promoted in secret, according to the Swazi Observer newspaper. The newspaper first reported on 1 February 2018 that promotions 'had been kept secret from the preying eyes of the media'. It said that in the past media had been informed of promotions. This time, it said, 'The promotions were never shared with the media as per the norm because previously the media questioned the promotion of a particular officer, who is also said to be on the current list of officers promoted.'

It quoted 'disgruntled officers' as sources. It said, 'The sources say the officer is young but has been elevated numerous times in what has been regarded as a "bedroom appointment" as many qualified and qualifying officers have been disregarded for appointments in favour of the officer concerned.

'The officer is said to treated like royalty within the department and is availed many privileges that even some superiors are not getting.'

In the report it did not name the officer involved.

On 8 February 2018, the Swazi Observer reported, 'Warder Nothando Ntshangase, who is wife to Correctional Services Commissioner General Mzuthini, is among the officers whose promotion has been kept a secret.'

It added, 'The 31-year-old, who has been with the service for less than a decade, and has been promoted many a time, assumed her new duties last week beginning of this month.' She has been married to the Commissioner General for eight years.

The Observer quoted an unnamed source. 'The source further alleged that the rise by Ntshangase to the rank of Senior Superintendent so quickly had come as a surprise to many within the department as there were people who had been in the department for a very long time and they had not even made it to the rank of sergeant.'

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