Praise for Master's Office staff

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Johannesburg - Staff at the Master's Office of the South Gauteng High Court got a pat on the back on Thursday when Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel dropped by to inspect services.

Nel's visit formed part of his participation in Public Service Week. He said he wanted to ensure that the Department of Justice staff was rendering the services they were expected to.

After spending time talking to both the public who come for help and staff who are tasked with assisting, Nel said he was impressed with what he had seen.

He noted that staff was "mindful of the people" they were dealing with, treated them with respect, were well organised and rendered services effectively.

"We are happy with what we've seen here today but there is always room for improvement. Unfortunately we are also aware that even in the best of organisations there will always be a rotten apple or two," he said.

Nel urged staff to identify the "rotten apples" in their ranks so that they could be corrected or removed.

Public servants were not in their positions for their own benefit but had a responsibility to serve citizens, he added.

"They are here to render services to you and to do it effectively, quickly and to treat you with dignity," Nel told the dozens of people queuing to be helped.

He called on the public to report officials who failed to do so.

The deputy minister said his department was committed to rooting out corruption within its ranks.

"Especially for a department such as ours, which deals with the administration of justice, any corruption is unacceptable. There is absolutely zero tolerance to corruption within the department."

Nel also acknowledged the numerous men and women at the Master's Office who worked tirelessly.

"Where public servants do their job honestly and work hard, communicated that to us so that we can reinforce their work," he told those at the office.

One of those waiting for help, Prudence Sinclair, was happy to have the deputy minister's sympathetic ear.

She had been in a queue, waiting for a letter she could present to the bank so that the money for her sister's funeral could be released.

Sinclair was having little success, partly because her nephews were not with her, and was desperate because the funeral was only two days away.

However, as she explained her predicament to the deputy minister, officials at the master's office intervened and promised to help her obtain the necessary documents.

"I'm so grateful the deputy minister came here today. He took an interest in my problem and hopefully now I'll be able to get the money to bury my sister," Sinclair said.

The Master's Office oversees the administration of deceased estates, curatorships, those declared insolvent, liquidation of companies, close corporations and the registration of trusts. - BuaNews

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