Church leaders must help cons - Ndebele

2013-07-28 21:03
Sibusiso Ndebele (Picture: GCIS)

Sibusiso Ndebele (Picture: GCIS)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Religious leaders should do more to rehabilitate criminals, because this was not the sole responsibility of the correctional services department, Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Sunday.

"We call upon religious leaders to play a more active role in our concerted efforts to heal victims of crime, and rehabilitate offenders so that they return to society as better human beings," he said.

"Corrections is not the sole responsibility of the department of correctional services. Corrections is a societal responsibility."

On Friday, Ndebele met religious leaders and officials at the East London Correctional Centre.

"As government, we will not win the battle against crime and re-offending if victims of crime, and the religious community, are not at the centre of the justice system," he said in a statement on Sunday.

"The religious community can encourage moral regeneration, coupled with basic values and cultures; be more prominent with its role in rehabilitation.... We cannot allow a situation where the poor are being punished because of their lack of money."

He said religious leaders should play a major role reintegrating convicted criminals into society, and providing social and economic assistance to the families of people serving time in prison.

Ndebele said there was a church in every community and it was time for them to play their part.

"We all have a duty to play in the eradication poverty. We must perform charitable deeds as Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and indigenous cultures dictate," he said.

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings."

Research showed a correlation between a lack of education, poverty and crime, he said. To reduce re-offending, the department had made education compulsory, he said. "Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace," Ndebele said.

"The hand that previously held an okapi, to harm others, must be transformed into a hand of a tailor, carpenter, builder and writer.

"We are, indeed, humbled to see offenders taking pride and working hard...."

He said his department was putting the victims of crime at the "core of the justice system" and their pain did not go away until the offenders were sentenced.

"I have no doubt in my mind that the religious community is best positioned to play a decisive role in setting right the hearts, minds, and souls of South Africans.

As long as we do not make moral regeneration a central theme of our conduct, we will find ourselves having progressed one step forward, and regressed 10 steps backward," he said.

Read more on:    sibusiso ndebele  |  prisons

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.