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SENIOR WARDERS, COMMISSIONER CLASH OVER BURIAL FUND

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MBABANE - Some high ranking officials from His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) are opposed to the deduction of money for a Death Benefit Fund from their salaries.

The officials have since expressed their discontent about the deduction of the monies from their salaries, arguing that they have already joined other burial schemes of their choice which they claim are predominately better that the one offered by the institution. A sum of E100 is deducted monthly from all HMCS officials, including junior officers, as contribution to the fund.  Officers are made to pay E100 for the first three months and thereafter pay monthly contributions of E50 to the fund.

Contributions

The contributions are deducted directly from the source of the officers’ salaries, which is the Treasury Department. Beneficiaries who are automatically covered from these subscriptions are one spouse and a maximum of six children per officer. The rate benefit that is reportedly to be paid by the fund in the event of death of a member or spouse is E30 000 and in respect of children it ranges between E10 000 and E20 000. The establishment of the Death Benefit Fund was communicated by HMCS Commissioner General Lamakhosini Dlamini through a memorandum dated July 15, 2020.  She mentioned that the purpose and objectives of the fund was to provide financial support to Correctional Services officers and their dependents in the event of their death.

One of the officials, Senior Assistant Commissioner Makhosonkhe Simelane has since approached his lawyers, who in turn wrote to the commissioner general of HMCS complaining about the deductions. According to Simelane, the deduction was unlawful as he never authorised it. He alleged the deduction bordered on fraud and corruption which they intended to explore with the relevant institutions. Simelane’s attorney, Nhlanhla Ginindza of N.E. Ginindza Attorneys, stated that the alleged unilateral deductions without the official’s equivocal consent was both unlawful and with malicious intent.

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