KwaZulu-Natal prisons head Mnikelwa Nxele is at the centre of a number of accusations of tender-rigging, money-laundering and possible corruption contained in a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe. Yet the correctional services department has spent more than a year struggling to ensure he faces a lawful disciplinary inquiry into the allegations against him.

Nxele, a colourful character who has dominated headlines for years, was fired by the department in 2019 after an independent inquiry found him guilty of gross insubordination. But newly appointed minister of justice & correctional services Ronald Lamola took the unusual decision to reverse Nxele’s dismissal, apparently on the basis of a Public Service Commission report.

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