Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele stated that it would have been optimistic to think that none of the offenders who received special remissions would re-offend. To date, 71 offenders have been rearrested. This is 71 too many.
As the Democratic Alliance has stated before, two offenders are rearrested on average every day. At this rate, a conservative estimate of 150 individuals will be rearrested before the process ends on 23 July.
Although Justice Minister Jeff Radebe called this number ‘very negligible’ today, we regard this number as a failure by Correctional Services to ensure that released offenders have been properly rehabilitated.
The Minister has also stated that only 17,556 out of 167,819 prisoners were actively involved in correctional programmes. This amounts to around 10% of the prison population and would go a long way toward explaining why 71 offenders are now back in prison. The Department of Correctional Services is clearly failing to ensure that there is an adequate rehabilitation and reintegration process.
The poor handling of the remissions process has put the safety of ordinary South Africans in jeopardy and this cannot be considered as ‘very negligible’.