New Thohoyandou Correctional Services area commissioner, Mr Marubini Netshivhazwaulu.
Mr Marubini Netshivhazwaulu is adamant that discipline among employees in the Department of Correctional Services will eliminate numerous aspects that are crippling the department.
Netshivhazwaulu was announced as the new Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services’ Thohoyandou Management area last Wednesday during the Management Area Sports Day at the Makhado show grounds. He took over the role of leading the area from his predecessor, Mr Takalani Mashamba.
When asked about the fire incident at the Thohoyandou Correctional Centre in Matatshe, which left two inmates killed and one severely injured, he said prison managers should listen to individuals’ complaints and requests.
In January this year, two awaiting-trial prisoners, Vhuthuhanga Kutame (19) and Mashudu Maphulu (22), lost their lives in an incident. The bereaved families subsequently alleged that three prisoners were sharing a cell meant for one person at the time of the incident.
With 33 years’ experience in correctional services, he said incidents of this nature were usually caused by inmates’ unattended complaints and dissatisfaction. “I am not saying that was the situation in that incident, but usually these incidents prevail when inmates are not attended to,” he said.
Mr Netshivhazwaulu assured people that on his watch the prisoners’ complaints would be swiftly attended to. “We need to instil discipline in our own environment itself in order to understand the issues of human rights. If we respect these individuals as human beings, I understand it is going to eliminate quite a number of things that are crippling the department and the government in general,” he said.
He said he would mainly focus on the reduction of crime and rehabilitation of prisoners as his main responsibility. “That is the core of my being here. We are also going to collaborate with all the necessary stakeholders and embark on a crime-awareness campaign,” said Netshivhazwaulu.
According to him, working with the police, other government departments and schools, specifically from primary level, will destabilize gang activities that are mushrooming at schools in the country.
He said it would help create an environment where crime was minimal and eventually remedy the problem in the correctional services. “The best way of managing crime is to prevent it.”
He said that they would reinforce the rehabilitation of inmates through education and ensure illiterate prisoners could learn to read and write.
“We are going to collaborate with University of Venda and TVET colleges and use our workshop in Thohoyandou and see how best we can utilise it in terms of equipping these individuals with skills they can use from correctional services to the external world,” he said.
Date:06 April 2019 - By: Phathutshedzo Luvhengo