Parole applications under the spotlight

2011-04-01 19:38
Cape Town - Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will from Monday begin to consider parole applications of inmates sentenced before March 1 1994.

Spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga said on Friday that the decision had been taken after a Constitutional Court judgment that the National Council on Correctional Services (NCCS) be excluded from the process of parole consideration of inmates sentenced before March 1 1994.

This meant that the minister will consider the placement of lifers falling within this time period without the involvement of the NCCS - the umbrella body of all parole boards and the minister's chief "advisor.

"The Minister of Correctional Services approached the Constitutional Court at the beginning of the year to ask the court to clarify the order it handed down on September 30 2010.

"The clarification was sought as to whether the NCCS still had a role to fulfil in the processing of lifers sentenced before March 1 1994.

"The NCCS had raised the matter of its role as an advisory body to the minister in processing the parole applications of offenders serving life sentences affected by the [Constitutional] Court's decision after having studied the September 30 2010 judgement of Van Vuuren v The Minister of Correctional Services and Others.

"The NCCS had interpreted the judgement to mean that Minister Mapisa-Nqakula should decide on the parole applications of this group of offenders without the advisory body's assistance, since the court's instruction did not mention the NCCS directly," said Sonwabo.

He said the Constitutional Court handed down judgment on Thursday indicating that its main judgment of September 30 2010 was clear in that it applied only to those inmates sentenced to life before the introduction of the 20-year minimum detention period on March 1 1994.

The NCCS will not deal with the consideration of lifers for placement on parole until at least 2014.

Sonwabo said the minister will begin with the 95 parole applications that had already been processed and were ready to be adjudicated on.
Mapisa-Nqakula will announce her decision on those applications on April 8.

She intends to conclude the consideration of parole applications of all 385 lifers by May 15.

"Where necessary lifers that will be considered may be temporarily moved to one facility to allow for the easy completion of this work by Correctional Supervision and Parole Boards as opposed to parole boards spending valuable time on travel," said Sonwabo.

He warned that being considered for parole did not mean parole would be granted.

"As parole is a privilege dependent on specific and certain qualifying criteria and not a right.

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.
Read more on:    nosiviwe mapisa-nqakula  |  cape town  |  prisons
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


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

6 reasons Boks won’t botch it
Fiji far too strong for Uruguay
Burger hopes for elusive World Cup win
As it happened: Fiji 47-15 Uruguay
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire more

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.