News24

Most offenders violent - minister

2012-08-07 16:32

Cape Town - About 71% of prisoners had committed violent crimes, Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Tuesday.

"There is a need to strengthen and reinforce the programmes to address aggressive crimes," the newly-appointed minister told the National Assembly's correctional services committee.

Nearly a quarter of offenders were sentenced for economic crimes, he said.

Rounded-off figures showed that 23% of offenders were sentenced for economic offences, 55% for aggressive crimes, 16% for sexual offences, 2% for drug-related crime, and 5% for other crimes.

"The fact that we have approximately 40% of inmates who are remand detainees must also factor into our resource allocation and our strategic focus," Ndebele said.

The average number of remand detainees in 2011/12 was about 46 000, while the average number of sentenced offenders for the same period was 113 000.

Last year, there were over 10 000 offenders serving sentences of incarceration for periods less than two years.

It was significant to note that about 2 500 of these were sentenced for aggressive offences, just over 5 000 for economic offences, about 1 000 for narcotics-related offences, just over 100 for sexual offences, and about 1 700 for other offences.

Africa's largest inmate population

In addition, there were about 19 500 probationers and about 42 000 parolees in the community corrections system.

Ndebele said South Africa had by far the largest inmate population in Africa (about 146 000), followed by Ethiopia (about 85 000). Egypt, Rwanda, and Morocco came next in the 60 000s.

"I have been amazed to learn that Nigeria, with a prison population of about 40 000, has one third of the number of inmates that we incarcerate in South Africa, and has an incarceration rate of 31 inmates per 100 000 people in the country," he said.

Nigeria has a population of about 170 million, while South Africa has about 50 million.

South Africa was about 18th on the world list of incarceration rates, and in Africa seemed to have even overtaken Botswana in the last couple of years.

"We incarcerate about 316 people out of every 100 000 citizens."

By comparison, the US had the highest incarceration rate of 743 people out of 100 000, and Russia the second highest at 568 people out of every 100 000.

"In reflecting on what this means, we need to take into account the violent nature of crime in South Africa; we need to recognise that the attitude that 'incarceration is the best crime deterrent' is still prevalent in our judiciary; but these facts require us to think deeply about the manner in which we approach incarceration in this country."

It should be noted that about 40% of offenders were serving sentences of over 10 years, about 10 000 of whom were lifers.

"It is of concern that there is an increase in offenders sentenced to life imprisonment," Ndebele said.

Comments
  • christelle.james.7 - 2012-08-07 16:39

    Somebody in government finally recognizes that!!! Now, we would like to know how this serious issue is going to be addressed.

      justin.m.edgecomb - 2012-08-07 16:40

      Bring back the death penalty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-08-07 16:41

      And take note, the same percenages probably applie to the offenders who are still running around free on the oustide.

  • marcelle.joubertdurandt - 2012-08-07 16:43

    So DO NOT release anyone. Plain & Simple.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-08-07 16:50

    Gee-took you long enough to figure that out! Now how do you explain the early release of prisoners who go out and rape 93 tear old ladies?

  • kala.bafazi - 2012-08-07 16:50

    I wonder how many serious offender roam our street because they could not be convicted due to "a technicality"?

  • arthurenlouise.tarr - 2012-08-07 16:53

    Whatever... The newly appointed needs to look important.Maby he also gets a nice Fat Credit Card. Or has he got one already?

  • mark.murison.7 - 2012-08-07 17:00

    Death penalty sounds good.

  • Rebecca - 2012-08-07 17:05

    wow 18 years of murderous crime and they only catch on now, my my the cANCer government is fast asleep

      ratsaka.eugene - 2012-08-07 17:15

      I think that's a little unfair, not that you know what's fair or unfair. Mentioning the 18 years of the ANC rule is like mentioning the 48 year old rule of human rights abuses, and 3 centuries of slavery. If you know what I mean. Your son kills a man during a botched robbery and you blame the ANC? Come on Ribs, surely this crimes are individual choices, not political, huh!

      bernard.ingram - 2012-08-07 17:44

      ratsake you live in dream world!

  • saschalipka - 2012-08-07 17:15

    The incarceration rate would be much higher if they would catch everybody. How many crimes are actually unsolved in SA?

  • mlu.khan - 2012-08-07 17:16

    Prisons should be privatized, i dont see the point of someone robbing my house, or taking the life of my loved ones, only to be fed by my tax in prison its either they privatize them, or let the families of these criminals pay for their food and accommodation, if they cant afford it, let them clean public toilets, collect garbage or clean our streets to earn their keep in prisons. Should they try to run, shoot to kill must apply

  • Michael - 2012-08-07 17:23

    I am watching representative of the Western Cape ANCYL on Enews channel, these guys are empty, i feel sad that they are at the helm of the ANCYL formed by Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. Dissapointing fellows indeed.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-07 17:30

      They are empty indeed, even if I say so myself!

  • eugene.muller.7 - 2012-08-07 17:32

    Let them plant their own food and work for their stay...hard work should be a deterrent enough.

      butch.poulter - 2012-08-07 17:56

      Well said. If they can setup work camps in Texas why cant we. Ahhh they dont work even when they get paid.

  • bernard.ingram - 2012-08-07 17:41

    Legacy of ANC schooling...now it has blown up in your faces!

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-08-07 17:44

    so why the phuque do you allow our president to release them early so they can go on to rape the populace?

  • Hugh - 2012-08-07 18:06

    The number of inmates exceeds that of the armed force and the police put together. Then at the current catch and conviction rate we have almost the same number of criminals on our streets. The question that needs to answered why we Joe public allow this get so bad? We must stop making criminals community heroes.

  • Christi Vaughn Roestorff - 2012-08-07 19:13

    Allow civilians to protect themselves!!! Most countries in the world limit certain rights of individuals whilst they are perpetrating a crime! Not the RSA! Simple logic dictates that vulnerable civilians and an ineffective justice system will lead to ever increasing crime!

  • bless.boswell - 2012-08-07 21:31

    And these are the prisoners that our president released in an unsuspecting and innocent public??

  • kmaruma - 2012-08-08 07:19

    What's an economic crime sum1 please explain maybe Im stupid coz I believe a crime is a crime Finish n klaar

  • Vince.York - 2012-08-30 19:32

    if you are young.black and anc you can get away with murder and rape, and even EARN child grants out of it!!!! IS THE ATTITUDE this racist anc has successfully engendered over 18 years and nothing else except THEFT.

  • social12345 - 2012-09-23 08:55

    It's the Nature of the Beast (in the DNA), Murderers, Rapists and Thieves. Their brains are designed to act on two impulses only, 1) Consumption 2) Destruction. The scourge of our planet, they are neither Human or Animal, they are "The Unreconstructable Neanderthals!"

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