Inmates are to be obliged to study in prison

2013-03-05 00:00

POLOKWANE — All inmates who do not have more than a Grade 9 education will be obliged from April 1 to undergo training in prison.

Correctional Services Minister S’bu Ndebele made the announcement at the department’s awards ceremony on Friday evening.

He said inmates would have to do adult basic education and training from levels one to four.

Prisons are not resorts where people may just eat and sleep, he said. “An inmate should leave with a certicate in one hand and a skill in the other.”

Ndebele referred to so-called “suitcase murderer” Riku Nortjé as a role model. He was released on parole in January, having served 16 years of a life sentence.

He was convicted of the gruesome murder of a 76-year-old man, Engel Leendert Bakker, whose body was dismembered and stuffed in a suitcase.

Nortjé entered prision with just a matric, and left with a masters degree in computer science. In 2011, he was the department’s top student.

Last year, the matric pass rate among prisoners was 79%, up from 68% the year before.

In order to assist with rehabilitation, warders or guards are now called correctional officers, Ndebele said.

He said the pilot project on electronic monitoring of paroled inmates had been a big success and will possibly be extended to all parolees.

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