The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) is extremely disappointed by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA’s) failure to provide transparency about the possibilities of workers contracting the COVID-19 after the Supervisor got into contact with someone with COVID-19. There continues to be inconsistency on what information the National Prosecuting Authorities (NPA’S) authorities that serve in East London are willing to release in terms of COVID-19 infection within its offices, NPA needs time to get the place set up right.
It was well known about the outbreak in East London prison but the NPA has ignored all that and have exposed the prosecutors. Prosecutors are forced to go and collect decision dockets for statistics purpose with their safety overlooked.
This exposes NPA’s failure to put in place measures to effectively save the lives of our members. Transparency during this crisis is necessary and important way to give those that are affected clarity into NPA’s decision-making about the covid-19. NPA had not done enough to prevent the virus from spreading throughout its facilities.
NUPSAW demands NPA to close down its East London offices, ensure that the building gets sanitized and also test all staff members just like what happened in St Augustine Hospital. NPA has not just putted the lives of the workers at risk, they have also placed the worker’s families lives at stake because workers can never know if they have bumped into the person in the bathroom or anything. The lack of consistency and restricted information across the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is creating frustration and concern among our members.
Our members at NPA have come to say that the NPA has made zero effort to inform its staff of their possible exposure to COVID-19 due to one of the East London supervisor who earlier during the week was in contact with the East London Correctional Services Head who has now tested positive for COVID-19 following a meeting they had without protective equipment. The Supervisor after the meeting went back to Court and came into contact with other staff, who might or might not have contacted the virus. The supervisor did not want to confirm it in the first place, however. One of the prosecutors confronted him about his meeting with the Prison head. The NPA Management has therefore requested that the prosecutors at East London to self-quarantine without testing the staff and ensuring that it’s building is sanitized before other workers are exposed.
Despite governments regulations to self-isolate when you get into contact with someone with the virus. Currently the control prosecutor is still going to work and not self-quarantine while she has been seen to be in contact with the Supervisor during one of the Court sessions putting other workers lives at risks. So this employee might have the virus and survive but what about the other people with different immune system who she is coming into contact with each day. Weather negative or positive at the end of the day it’s about the safety of the workers. There should not be ignorance in dealing with the matter because government regulations are clear that you should self-quarantine and make sure you get the necessary help including limiting interactions with others.
Make no mistake, should NPA refuse to comply with the lockdown regulations, we will not only insist that all officials responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance in terms of the lockdown regulations be charged with misconduct for gross negligence, but also sue them at their personal capacity for this unacceptable and evil conduct. It’s an employer’s duty to save lives.
For more information:
NUPSAW Media Officer
Cell: 083 712 1614