Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has appointed Makgothi Samuel Thobakgale as acting national corrections commissioner, to replace the outgoing Arthur Fraser.
In a statement, the department’s spokesperson, Chrispin Phiri, describes Tohobakgale as a “hard-working, passionate, insightful and knowledgeable public servant”.
Thobakgale joined Corrections last year as the chief deputy commissioner for incarceration and corrections. He holds a B.Com in Finance and Business Administration, and a postgraduate degree in Development, while he is currently studying for his Master’s in Finance.
He has 17 years of experience in the public sector, and has previously served as deputy director-general in the department of public works.
Thobakgale’s appointment comes after an earlier announcement that the contract of his predecessor, Fraser, would not be renewed. Fraser took over the role in April of 2018.
He was recently at the centre of the storm surrounding the release of former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole. Fraser admitted that he had approved Zuma’s parole despite contrary recommendations by the medical parole board.
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Fraser said at the time that he was aware of the perceptions surrounding him, but made the decision anyway.
“I know the noise and perception were created that I was Jacob Zuma person; the only thing that I know is that I was appointed by him into the position of director-general in the SSA,” said Fraser before explaining the alleged procedure that eventually led to the former president’s freedom.