Church leaders must help cons - Ndebele

2013-07-28 21:03

Johannesburg - Religious leaders should do more to rehabilitate criminals, because this was not the sole responsibility of the correctional services department, Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Sunday.

"We call upon religious leaders to play a more active role in our concerted efforts to heal victims of crime, and rehabilitate offenders so that they return to society as better human beings," he said.

"Corrections is not the sole responsibility of the department of correctional services. Corrections is a societal responsibility."

On Friday, Ndebele met religious leaders and officials at the East London Correctional Centre.

"As government, we will not win the battle against crime and re-offending if victims of crime, and the religious community, are not at the centre of the justice system," he said in a statement on Sunday.

"The religious community can encourage moral regeneration, coupled with basic values and cultures; be more prominent with its role in rehabilitation.... We cannot allow a situation where the poor are being punished because of their lack of money."

He said religious leaders should play a major role reintegrating convicted criminals into society, and providing social and economic assistance to the families of people serving time in prison.

Ndebele said there was a church in every community and it was time for them to play their part.

"We all have a duty to play in the eradication poverty. We must perform charitable deeds as Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and indigenous cultures dictate," he said.

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings."

Research showed a correlation between a lack of education, poverty and crime, he said. To reduce re-offending, the department had made education compulsory, he said. "Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace," Ndebele said.

"The hand that previously held an okapi, to harm others, must be transformed into a hand of a tailor, carpenter, builder and writer.

"We are, indeed, humbled to see offenders taking pride and working hard...."

He said his department was putting the victims of crime at the "core of the justice system" and their pain did not go away until the offenders were sentenced.

"I have no doubt in my mind that the religious community is best positioned to play a decisive role in setting right the hearts, minds, and souls of South Africans.

As long as we do not make moral regeneration a central theme of our conduct, we will find ourselves having progressed one step forward, and regressed 10 steps backward," he said.

  • Godfrey Welman - 2013-07-28 21:26

    As Govt. STOP stealing and create JOBS, this will address poverty. You will not put guild trips on us for your failures!!!! Whe Arch Tutu warned you, what did you say to him...think.

  • Colin Dovey - 2013-07-28 21:28

    My pain is very wife in hospital, at the age of 76, for a very serious cancer op.....we have owned our car for nearly 10 years, and our small budget allowed for the, food, and fuel. Imagine our horror when our old car is stolen right under the eyes of the "security guards" at Helen Joseph hospital. We now have NO way of getting around to take her for follow-up treatment.....I could go on....but at the risk of sounding sorry for ourselves....I just want to make ONE point.....these offenders do not deserve ANY sympathy.....for what they have done to our lives, they csn ROT IN HELL - they do not deserve any special treatment!

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-07-29 11:08

      Xavier 7034. My heart goes out to you and your wife, may both of you be blessed.

  • Evidence Sangakkara Ashavin - 2013-07-29 01:28

    Ndebele is sick how can u start to recognise churches now while u never take them serious about other church Laws yeses i hate the failing government of RSA futsek

  • PF - 2013-07-29 03:54

    Are all these churches really interested in the wellbeing of people...or their own coffers ?

      Johan De Beer - 2013-07-29 07:53

      Atheitis, you are so predictable. Whenever the word "church" or "God" appears in an article, you show up to spew your blasphemous religion. Go away.

  • Michael Atkins - 2013-07-29 06:31

    Two observations: - all religions are now treated as morally equivalent, and as philosophical equals, when this plainly cannot be so (despite what may be said, most religious views are mutually exclusive - they CANNOT all be true). The adherents of each may have an equally valid place as citizens, but that does not make the beliuefs equal - religious leaders are rolled out by Govt when it is convenient to do so, but the truth of what the Bible teaches, for example, is conveniently ignored for the rest.

  • Sean Tattersall - 2013-07-29 07:37

    If the religious leaders must help, then we need to run this country as a God fearing country. If you kill you must be killed. If you rape chop off his cock. If you steal chop off his hand. Those that steal from the old should be put o death. Bring back hard labour nd the death penalty. Then we as the church once you have paid your debt will stick out an olive branch.

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-07-29 11:12

      Atheitis. Look, you don't believe in God or church, that's fine, I respect that. But do you really need to go and on and on about it?. I mean who the hell!! cares?.

  • Garth Baldwin - 2013-07-29 07:40

    here is a thought.. why not employ more psychologists. they are trained to be able to identify pathology (especially personality) which I'm pretty sure the average pastor is quite ignorant of. behavioral modification is also their area of expertise rather than the wishful "lets pray about it" routine. they can use evidence based practise guidelines rather than biblical guidelines. does that not make more logical sense...?

  • Jonathan Crossland - 2013-07-29 08:39

    In the US, over 75% of inmates are christian. Does the church breed cr

      jerhone - 2013-07-29 09:34

      christian, moslem,or jew or whatever does not mean you are a child of GOD and you obey GOD to the letter, it is just a certain belief you associate yourself with or were born into, no true child of GOD would kill in his name like the above so called religions have done throughout history and if you were TRUE child of GOD you more than likly would not be sitting in prison because you would not be commiting a crime

  • Cynthia Labuschagne - 2013-07-29 09:35

    Why is it that religion is always call upon but never recognised properly by the government and I'm talking about all Churches.Why government not give up there BIG BONUSES to help them.

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-07-29 11:06

    It is always somebody else who need to do the work. You jail them, you rehabilitate them.

  • Terrence Holtzhausen - 2013-07-29 11:58

    religion has no place in government or in fact any bodies life as there are no gods, religion and government has always just been there to control the masses that's it. WAKE UP!

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