35 000 offenders could be released

2012-04-28 14:33
Johannesburg - More than 35 000 offenders could be released, depending on an assessment, after President Jacob Zuma announced a special remission of sentence, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Saturday.

"The special remission...will see all sentenced inmates, probationers and parolees granted a six month remission of sentence...and an additional 12 months," he told a media briefing in Pretoria.

"This will reduce the level of overcrowding in correctional centres from 34% to approximately 20%."

It was estimated that about 20 855 probationers and parolees, and 14 651 sentenced inmates would be released "conditionally or unconditionally" in terms of an assessment process.

"The completion of a compulsory pre-release assessment and the attendance of...the programme is a prerequisite before the conditional or unconditional release of offenders can take place," explained Mthethwa.

Non-discriminatory process

Offenders who qualify can only be released from May 14 this year in "controllable groups".

Zuma announced on Friday that his administration would grant a special remission of sentence to specific categories of sentenced offenders, probationers and parolees.

In South Africa the granting of special remissions is governed by placing safety first and promoting shared responsibility for the correction of offending behaviour and rehabilitation, Mthethwa said.

He said Zuma had ensured that the process would be a fair non-discriminatory and transparent one where certain categories of prisoners would be excluded from aspects of the proposed remission.

"Such exclusion is justified on the basis [of[ public interest and concern and the prevalence of serious offences, the integrity of the criminal justice system and the administration of justice," said Mthethwa.

Those sentenced for aggressive, sexual, firearm and drug related offences would not qualify for the special remission.

"Remission will exclude all escapees and absconders who are still at large," said the police minister.
Read more on:    nathi mthethwa  |  jacob zuma  |  prisons

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas and...read 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 24.com 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.