Bail applicant gets ankle bracelet to monitor movements

2015-06-15 17:53

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

Bloemfontein - Electronic monitoring for suspects on bail can help manage jail populations - and make life a bit fairer for those applying for bail.

This is the opinion of Bastiaan Theunissen, the legal eagle behind one of South Africa’s first people to wear such an ankle device as part of his bail conditions - and not while on parole.

Theunissen’s client, Ronnie Fakude, spent two years behind bars awaiting trial. The South African legal system makes provision that an awaiting-trial prisoner’s position regarding bail is reconsidered after two years, and when this happened to Fakude, Theunissen suggested that an electronic monitoring system be considered as part of his bail conditions.

Correctional Services was happy with the situation, and Fakude was released on bail.

Similar devices have been used in the USA and Australia for years, but they are still new in South Africa.

The Department of Correctional started an experiment by fitting 150 parolees with these ankle devices in 2012 and followed it up with 500 more the next year.

Last year they announced that they wanted to roll out these devices nationally – even as an alternative to traditional jail time.

The then correctional services minister, Sibusiso Ndebele, said that it cost the taxpayer roughly one third of the money to keep someone electronically monitored, compared to keeping someone in prison.

According to Theunissen, the system worked well for Fakude, who is a wheelchair user and battles with his health.

He had arrived at court when he had to, except for the times when health problems prevented him from doing so, and then he followed the correct procedures. Fakude is facing fraud charges.

“I can see this being used more often in future for people who apply for bail. It is an effective way to ensure that they arrive in court and limits flight risks,” he told News24.

There are various kinds of monitoring systems, but the general principle is that an electronic device is fitted to the ankle. The device is connected to a central monitoring room, where the movements of the parolee can be detected.

The device is tamper proof and when an attempt is made to remove it, the authorities are notified.      

News24 contacted the Department of Correctional Services for comment on Fakude’s case, but at time of publishing no reply was received.

Read more on:    correctional services  |  bloemfontein  |  crime

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

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.