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.

  • jouplesier - 2011-04-01 20:09

    free clive!

  • Eric West - 2011-04-01 20:49

    Free Clive Derby Lewis NOW!!!!

  • Mundu - 2011-04-01 21:15

    Surely it's the decision of the courts and not the correctional minister to decide who gets out of jail early? Watch and see how many murderers and rapists get let out to continue doing what they did so well pre '94. ANC looking for more votes.

      Steve - 2011-04-02 14:04

      The vote doesnt count, they vote in jail anyway

  • Shadoz - 2011-04-02 13:36

    You do realize that they will be releasing murders and thieves and that they have no prospect of earning any sort of a living so they will just commit a crime again. these bloody things dont think...

  • Jacques - 2011-04-07 21:35

    Life is LIFE. Most of these characters has killed. They should be thankful for still being alive and not having been executed. Under no circumstances should a murderer be allowed out on parole. They just do it again - rape, murder, hijacking etc. Go look up current cases, a large proportion of crimes are being committed by parolees. In South Africa the lawyers for these parole applications and the judges residing on these application are aware of the situation. Parole should only be allowed if the Judge and Lawyer of the applicant are prepared to personally face a charge of irresponsibility before the law or some suitable charge if the parolee are found guilty of committing the same or similar crime during his/her parole period.

  • Capeboy - 2011-04-08 20:28

    To the Minister - what would you know about your job - when you are supposed to be working you are on shopping spree! How dare you release these criminals - remember your decision when someone in your family is attacked. Bring back the deathe sentence and get rid of the scum!

  • The Futurist - 2011-04-12 14:47

    what are the chances of rehabilitating an animal ? lets do what Singapore did ... line up all the prisoners and shoot them dead .. regardless of offence (theft/murder/rape/fraud/etc.) ! Instant economy growth injection from millions of wasted tax money on criminals !! someone should bomb all prisons .. and poison its water !!

  • Lebohang - 2012-05-04 07:03

    I'm brother was sentence for life since 1993 he's still in bloemfontein grootvlei prison

  • Lebohang - 2012-05-04 07:03

    I'm brother was sentence for life since 1993 he's still in bloemfontein grootvlei prison

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