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Compiled by Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Justice Department’s DG used prison guards for personal security – report

Doctor Mashabane also allegedly installed fingerprint-identification on an elevator at his office which only allows him to use it.

The director-general of the Department of Justice, Doctor Mashabane, is accused of using security guards from the Kgosi Mampuru prison as his personal bodyguards.

He reportedly did this after he was mugged in Pretoria and police turned down his request for personal protection.

Mashabane is also accused of taking the guards with him on overseas trips, including to Dubai in June where he was involved in discussing the extradition of the Gupta brothers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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The Sunday Times reports that Mashabane feels he needs the personal protection due to the R5bn procurement budget, and lucrative contracts, he manages.

Officials in the Justice Department allege that each guard is being paid between R4 000 and R25 000 a month for the overtime they work.

Mashabane, however, denies the guards went with him on international trips and said he was only using two guards, not the three that was alleged.

He told the publication that the allegations are part of a “campaign against me for a year and a half aimed at distracting and intimidating me from fixing the challenges in the department”.

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has also heard how Mashabane installed fingerprint-identification on one of the elevators at the department’s offices. This supposedly allows only him and his bodyguards to use the elevator.

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Mashabane asked for police protection in March 2021.

Former police commissioner Khehla Sitole, however, replied to the director-general and told him that crime intelligence had found no “direct threat against [his] physical security”. 

Sources also told the Sunday Times that Mashabane’s request was unusual and that DGs in other departments do not have bodyguards.

ALSO READ: Four staffers in hot water over stolen millions at justice department

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