By Masilo Malakwane
KROONSTAD – The Acting National Commissioner for Department of Correctional Services, Makhothi Thobakgale, has commended female security officers at maximum correctional facilities and Emergency Support Team (EST) who go beyond the call of duty.
At a ceremony held at Kroonstad Training College on March 18, 120 officers from Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Northern Cape and Free State received certificates for attending a self-defence and physical training for potentially dangerous situations.
Thobakgale was flanked by Free State and Northern Cape Regional Commissioner, Subashini Moodley and Eastern Acting Regional Commissioner, Lucky Mthethwa.
He said the issuing of certificates to security officers was part of the department’s recognition and appreciation for their attendance and commitment to protecting themselves with discipline while on duty.
“We are proud to show appreciation for your hard work, even during the challenging times when you have to protect yourselves while working to prevent fatalities.”
He further highlighted the significant role that they play in security, putting their lives at risk every day to save others.
“The security officers have the impact on the day-to-day smooth running of correctional facilities and responding vigilantly during times of need to prevent an assault and suicide attempts,” he told The Guard.
Lerato Caroline Nkomo of Groenpunt Maximum Prison said the training has equipped her with the necessary skills to address the challenges women often faced, such as being raped while on duty by mostly male inmates.
“We were faced with many challenges as women as in most cases we became targets of sexual abuse by mostly male inmates. But now with the necessary skills that I have received during the course of the training, I can confidently say I’m ready to perform my duties without any fear.”