The SA Post Office has issued a statement on its investigation into a murder at the Clareinch Post Office.
Uyinene Mrwetyana was recently attacked and killed by an SA Post Office (SAPO) employee at the branch, who has now been charged with Mrwetyana’s murder.
Shortly after the incident was made public, reports surfaced that the SA Post Office employee implicated in the murder was a convicted criminal – and had served time in jail.
Immediately questions were asked about how SAPO could hire convicted criminals, and how he managed to secure a position at the Clareinch branch.
SAPO has now issued a statement on the matter, indicating that it is conducting a thorough investigation.
This includes an investigation into the appointment of the offending employee.
“The preliminary investigation and the findings confirm that the alleged perpetrator’s employment did not follow the routine SAPO recruitment process, because his entry into SAPO was through a temporary employment agency,” said SAPO.
“In 2012, he amongst other temporary staff, was absorbed into SAPO. SAPO confirms that at the time there was no screening of these employees as they were already in the system via labour brokers.”
It has been established that the employee was convicted for a 1998 carjacking, which saw him handed an 8-year jail term. 5 years were served, with 3 years suspended.
SAPO said when the temporary staff group the accused was part of where offered “permanent part-time” employment in 2013, he submitted his CV as well as qualifications and declared “that he had no previous criminal convictions”.
“During 2016, the implicated employee was appointed into a permanent teller position. During this time he had signed another declaration confirming that he did not have any criminal record. He also affirmed an oath required by the SAPO Act committing to be honest and trustworthy, and to act in accordance with the law,” said SAPO.
When SAPO then took over the SASSA grants payments in 2018, all customer facing and other key employees were subjected to SSA Personnel Suitability screening.
“Out of the 13,000 employees, SSA had found 300 records of which 174 were convictions in which the implicated employee was one of them.”
“These findings were made available to SAPO officials in June 2018 – however, the information was not disclosed to the executive and board. SAPO is investigating the circumstances that led to the information not been shared.”
SAPO said the results of the SSA vetting exercise are also being reviewed.
“In the event that the internal investigations reveal that there was wrongdoing by any official, proportionate action will be taken. SAPO will announce the details of any action taken, which will be informed by our internal processes.”