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Former correctional services commissioner Tom Moyane says he is no longer interested in challenging the decision to force him into retirement.
Moyane suddenly retired halfway through his term as the national commissioner, raising speculation of a fallout with Minister Sbu Ndebele.
Moyane, who was appointed in 2010, confirmed to The Sunday Independent yesterday that his retirement was not his choice, saying, “I did not retire, I was retired”.
He refused to comment further on what might have led to the decision to retire him after he had served for more than six months after his 60th birthday in January this year.
He said he had still not received his letter of retirement.
“But I have moved on and I am satisfied that I have served my country well during the time that I was national commissioner,” he said.
Moyane said his retirement was announced to staff while he believed the matter was still under discussion, prompting him to seek legal advice.
But yesterday he said he had decided to walk away quietly.
The department is currently headed by acting correctional services commissioner Nontsikelelo Jolingana, who had been chief operations officer in the department before Moyane left.
Department spokesman Teboho Mokoena said the position for the national commissioner would be advertised in due course. He
dismissed speculation that labour department director-general Nkosinathi Nhleko was being earmarked for the position.
“Nkosinathi Nhleko is not being considered for this appointment, and neither is he the minister’s preferred candidate. The position will be filled in line with applicable legislative and policy procedures,” said Mokoena.
Nhleko has served as the KwaZulu-Natal regional commissioner for correctional services; has been chairman of the portfolio committee on public service and administration; ANC chief whip; chairman of the ANC caucus in Parliament; and was a member of the Judicial Services Commission.
Nhleko also headed the specialised anti-corruption unit in the pubic service commission before joining the department as director-general in 2011.
But it is not the first time he has been touted as suitable for a top position in the justice and social protection cluster. Shortly after the dismissal of former national police commissioner Bheki Cele, he was rumoured to be in the running for the top job –which did not happen.
Nhleko has also distanced himself from speculation linking him to the job, saying his focus was on his current position as labour director-general.
“You know there are always rumours flying around… but I’m currently contracted to the Department of Labour and that is where my story is.
“My current contract is supposed to run until 2016,” said Nhleko.
The department was recently rocked by the violent protests by prisoners at the Mangaung Correctional Centre, which was privately managed by security group G4S.
The department has since taken over the management of the prison, with Gauteng commissioner Zach Modise deployed to run the facility in the interim.
The department announced at the time the security company had lost “effective control” of the prison following hostage situations and the stabbing of staff members by the prisoners.
But it is unclear whether the prison will remain under the department’s stewardship, or if private contractors will again be roped in following G4S’s tumultuous tenure.
According to the department, Modise and his management team would stay put at the prison until “their set goals and objectives are achieved” . Mokoena said his department would continue to monitor the situation at the prison.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has said it will allocate R3.3 million to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for its investigation into the Marikana killings.
The SAHRC came under fire from the justice portfolio committee last year for running a parallel investigation while the Marikana commission had also been appointed by Zuma. - Sunday Independent