OFFICIALS from the Department of Correctional Services say they plan to come to work drunker than ever.
That’s because the department’s chief operations officer, Nontsikelelo Jolingana, said officials are always drunk.
Giving the keynote address at a Youth Month commemoration on Friday at Durban’s Olive Centre, Jolingana said repeatedly members were drunks who can’t reason well and made young officials there repeat her words.
“Ziyasidakelwa izimember yey, umuntu akudakelwe nje (Members get drunk, you know they get drunk, and take it out on you).”
Some uncomfortable youths in the hall mumbled and refused to repeat her words.
Jolingana mentioned a few incidents where she was refused entry despite identifying herself.
“At one correctional centre a member refused us entry. Isn’t that ukusidakelwa (taking his drunkenness out on us)?”
Jolingana’s words didn’t go down well with officials.
One of them, who didn’t want to be named, said: “Her address was an insult. We came here to be addressed as the youth of correctional services, not to be insulted.
“As a leader in top management, how can she say that?
“Now we will drink even more.”
The aim of the event was to encourage and give hope to young officials.
Pietermaritzburg area commissioner Andile Mdletye said the department faced challenges like “drug abuse, reduced self-confidence, lack of tolerance and irritability that is common among its members”.
Mdletye said it was hard to manage officials as work relationships were strained and there was a lack of trust between juniors and top management.
Regional Commissioner Mnikelwa Nxele said: “Our priority this year is to empower officials through skills and development.”